Liverpool official Damien Comolli has heaped praise on St Etienne winger Dimitri Payet, rating him as more naturally talented than Tottenham man Luka Modric.
Comolli, who was appointed as the new director of football strategy at Anfield last week, had plenty of time to observe Payet in his former role as director of sport at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
The Frenchman is also familiar with Spurs midfielder Modric, having spent three years as director of football at White Hart Lane.
Comolli suggests Payet, who has been recently linked with a move to Liverpool, has more to offer than Croatian playmaker Modric, and says the 23-year-old would be more than capable of plying his trade outside his homeland.
"On a natural class level, Dimitri is stronger than a player like Modric, (who) I saw very closely at Tottenham," Comolli told France Football.
"It is a very high level. We never stopped repeating to him: 'It is only up to you to join a French team'."
Sochaux coordinator of sports Jacques Crevoisier, former assistant to Gerard Houllier at Liverpool, agrees Payet has massive potential, likening him to French stars such as Djibril Cisse and Thierry Henry.
"Dimitri is a sprinter," said Crevoisier. "He is a little like Djibril Cisse and Thierry Henry when they were 14 or 15-years-old.
"Two years ago, I advised St Etienne to make him work on his endurance. He is now good on that level."