Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes that Adam Lallana is a unique English talent, with skills comparable to Barcelona stars Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas.
The 25-year-old is enjoying the best season of his career after scoring 10 goals and registering eight assists for the eighth-place Saints and pushing his case to go to the World Cup with England.
The club captain created his team's second goal and scored the magnificent third at St. Mary's Stadium on Saturday as the hosts smashed Newcastle 4-0, with the Argentine waxing lyrical about his ability.
"We haven't seen a player like that in this country for a long time," Pochettino told reporters. "Lately he has had a number of opportunities to get into the England national side so that is a very good thing for him. I am always telling him that he has the characteristics of a Spanish player and he has the skills of an Iniesta, Xavi or Fabregas."
Southampton started the second half against Newcastle 1-0 up and two pieces of brilliance from Lallana saw it stretch that lead to 3-0 by the 70th minute.
The attacking midfielder produced a sublime chip over the visiting defense for Rickie Lambert to score in the 49th minute before the skipper later blasted home from more than 20 yards out.
"Adam is special, he is a very unique player," Pochettino added. "There is not another player in the country like him."
- Sports & Recreation