As Pogba nears record-breaking transfer, is Dele Alli already comparable for Spurs?

Dele Alli celebrates with Harry Kane after scoring the first goal for Tottenham

Manchester United are reportedly about to sign the Juventus star, joining the Tottenham Hotspur man as one of the most exciting, all-action midfielders in the Premier League.

France's Paul PogbaFrance's Paul Pogba

As Paul Pogba edges closer to his reported world record transfer to Manchester United from Juventus, Premier League followers are inevitably getting excited about such an outstanding player arriving in England.

But with a fee said by BBC Sport to be as much as £89 million, and maybe even beyond, the amount needed to sign the Frenchman, fans of Tottenham Hotspur might well be wondering how much their own hugely impressive young midfielder Dele Alli would be worth in such a market.

Because Alli has shown in his single season at the club that he possesses sensational talent, arguably comparable with the prospective Manchester United signing. 

Tottenham's Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their third goalTottenham's Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their third goal

Naturally, Spurs supporters certainly wouldn't be pricing the former MK Dons man up ahead of any world record move of his own, with the Londoners themselves now one of the country's biggest sides, but such a large amount for a central midfield player could end up affecting the market values and perception of all of the top midfield talents in world football, Alli included.

Of course, Pogba has been a wonderful player for Juventus since moving to Turin in 2012. In four seasons in Italy he been vital as the Old Lady asserted a stranglehold on the Serie A title, and he did it as a young player.

But in terms of his direct goal contribution he has a modest output over his career so far, and unless he is allowed a more free-roaming or attacking role, it is hard to imagine him regularly scoring the number of goals that players who break such transfer records manage.

Not since Zidane broke the world record in 2001 has so much money been spent on a player who will struggle to score 20 goals or more in a season, and there is good reason why the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale are considered the most valuable around considering the number of goals they contribute.

- Juventus' Paul Pogba celebrates after scoringJuventus' Paul Pogba celebrates after scoring

Pogba offers more than just goals of course. His central midfield position gives him the opportunity to dominate matches using his physical and technical presence, driving forward from deep. Alli on the other hand seemed to claim a slightly more attacking role ahead of the midfield pivot for Spurs.

But there are certain similarities between the two, who both boast a physical edge and flair that sets them apart from the vast majority of midfielders in football.

What is astonishing about the Tottenham man is how quickly he took to Premier League football last season. Alli last season was the same age as Pogba when he moved to Italy but the England international scored more league goals (10) than Pogba has ever managed in a campaign so far (his highest league tally is eight - last season and the year before). 

Dele Alli celebrates after scoring the first goal for TottenhamDele Alli celebrates after scoring for Tottenham

The confidence and influence that he displayed as Spurs challenged for the title was reminiscent of Pogba at Juve, and still just 20, and not 21 until next April, the test for Alli will be whether he can replicate that again in the coming campaign.

If he does, and if he brings that form onto the international stage more consistently, he could well find himself in the same bracket as Pogba when it comes to the top central midfielders in the world.

Encouraging for Spurs fans was Alli's performance in the recent impressive friendly win over Inter Milan. In his first preseason appearance, he underlined his attacking quality and was energetic and creative with his link up play for a number of the goals in the emphatic 6-1 win, with Alli, who won the PFA Young Player of the Year and Goal of the Season awards last season, also finding the net.

It was just a friendly of course but there is a reason why those at White Hart Lane are so excited about Alli's talent.

Though it would be a stretch to say Pogba and Alli are on the same page at present, mainly because of the France international's consistent impressive form across a few seasons, the Tottenham faithful may feel they have a player on their hands who could yet match or even surpass the 23-year-old when it comes to match-winning ability.

Tottenham's Dele Alli during a lap of honour after the gameTottenham's Dele Alli

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