‘Dele Alli has this charisma’: Mauricio Pochettino compares Spurs outcast to former team-mates Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho as ‘amazing talent’ continues to be shunned by Jose Mourinho
- Dele Alli has yet to play 90 minutes for this season, featuring in two league game
- The star is frustrated at Jose Mourinho leaving him in the dark on his demotion
- Alli’s breakthrough on the world stage came under Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs
- The Argentinian compared the midfielder’s character to some icons of the game
Mauricio Pochettino has backed Dele Alli as the Spurs star remains stuck on the sidelines, comparing his ‘special energy’ to that of Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho.
The Englishman has played 66 minutes of Spurs’ six Premier League matches so far and can’t even get a full game in the Europa League, with the midfielder plummeting down Jose Mourinho’s pecking order since last season.
Alli’s frustration is building after having a loan move blocked this summer, with the 24-year-old reportedly yet to discuss the issue with his manager.
Dele Alli is being left out in the cold at Tottenham, playing just 66 Premier League minutes
Jose Mourinho blocked a loan move for the star this summer and his frustration is building
Mauricio Pochettino has backed the star, claiming he shares characteristics with Ronaldinho
Pochettino oversaw Alli’s sharp rise from MK Dons prospect to Real Madrid target, and the former Spurs boss still raves about the midfielder.
He said his energy is similar to that of Maradona, who Pochettino was Argentina team-mate of briefly as their careers overlapped.
‘Maradona’s charisma and the energy made him so special,’ the Argentine said on Sky Sports.
‘When he arrived in the room everyone wanted to touch him, talk to him, go ask for a picture but his energy and charisma was amazing. Another player with charisma was Ronaldinho, when he played at PSG.
‘Dele had this type of charisma – but what an amazing player Ronaldinho was.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, Pochettino raved about the talent he brought through
Pochettino and Ronaldinho (both right) spent two years together playing for PSG in France
‘Dele has this charisma that the kids love and follow. Different talents, different characteristics but Ronaldinho and Maradona have this special energy that you know is a special energy.’
Pochettino is well placed to make the comparisons, having spent two years at PSG with Ronaldinho and lined up at international level with Maradona, who he previously described as his ‘idol’.
Alli’s place in the England squad for Euro 2021 will now be under threat if he can’t force his way back into Mourinho’s Spurs line-up, and he may have to go out on loan in January to get his career back on track.
Pochettino was the boss behind Alli’s breakthrough at Spurs that propelled him to star status
‘I need to be respectful with the current manager, Jose. It’s not my responsibility,’ Pochettino added.
‘What I can talk about on Dele is that he was an amazing player for us. When he arrived from MK Dons he had the energy and the aggressiveness.
‘When he got to the edge of the line (mentally), you always need to try to help him, to tell him to creep one step back.
‘When he appeared he was an amazing talent for everyone. Of course he’s still young but I think we enjoyed a lot together.’
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