Paulo Dybala has not reached the level of last season.
Dybala started off the season strongly, scoring 11 goals in the early season. However, he has been out of form lately as he managed to score only one goal since October. His future in Turin seems to be in doubt due to his poor performance as he was kept out of the starting XI sometimes.
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) December 30, 2017
Talking at a news conference ahead of the game against Hellas Verona, Allegri insisted that Dybala must avoid his comparisons with the two footballing giants with 5 Balon d'Or each. He said:
The relationship with him absolutely hasn't changed. Dybala came to Juventus three years ago and I think he's grown a lot. Juventus put, even more, emphasis on his qualities and he's given a lot to Juventus. In my opinion, he still has huge margins for improvement. The comparisons which were made at the start [of the season] were damaging for Paulo, but fortunately, he's a smart lad and he understands you can't compare a lad of 24 to two giants of football [Messi and Ronaldo], who have won 10 Ballons d'Or
The 24-year-old Argentine — connected with a probable transfer to Premier League side Manchester United — has not hit the heights of last season.
Dybala started in the playing XI on Saturday against Verona after being benched for three previous games. He silenced his critics scoring a brace in a 3-1 win. The defending Serie A champion won for the first time in Verona since 2001.
Allegri also insisted that Dybala can be the best player and candidate for the Balon d'Or in coming years.
After the match, he said:
It’s important that Paulo found the net again. After the goal, he started to play better, as he was in a delicate moment where things weren’t quite going his way. Psychology is everything in football and confidence is key. You have to be focused and determined. I think the only advice for Paulo is to think just about his football and his journey, not worrying about comparisons with players like Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. In the next three years, he will be, together with Neymar, the most important player in the world. Today there are Messi and Ronaldo and it is difficult, but his path is that he has to improve physically, technically and mentally.