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Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham's Dele Alli can be better than Barca's Neymar

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said believes Dele Alli has the potential to be better than Neymar.

Alli, 21, scored his 16th Premier League goal of the season in last weekend's 4-0 win over Watford.

Last week, Pochettino said Harry Kane was as important to Tottenham as Lionel Messi is to Barcelona.

Asked to make a similar comparison about Alli, he told beIN SPORTS: "Maybe Neymar. No, I think it's a joke!

"I think Dele Alli has a completely different personality to Neymar. I think he's a special player too. I don't know if he's in this level yet -- but the potential will be to be like him or better.

"I think Dele is an unbelievable player, great player, still very young and his potential is massive. We'll see what happens. He has the potential to improve a lot."

Pochettino, whose side are second in the Premier League, added that he admired Sir Alex Ferguson and felt Spurs had comparable qualities to the Scot's era at Manchester United.

"In the way that we play it's exciting and maybe you can compare [me] with Ferguson and Manchester United because we created a team helping and developing young players with some senior players," he said.

"I think it's a very good mix in between different ages of the team, and of course I admire Sir Alex Ferguson a lot. Now he's out of management, but still for me he's a manager and he's the best.

"It's a big responsibility, a big prize, but a big responsibility that the people are seeing some similarities with that Manchester [side] but it's a lot of work to do still."

Pochettino added that he felt the way Spurs "are fighting and building the team and that philosophy and that mentality is fantastic."

He added: "Now we need time to try to win and be rewarded for the way we are working."