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Davids feels Messi comparisons 'hurt' Dybala

Comparing Paulo Dybala with Lionel Messi is only going to "hurt" the Juventus talent, according to Edgar Davids.

The former Palermo youngster has often been likened to his fellow Argentina international due to his style of player, his nationality and the fact they are both left-footed.

And Dybala's brilliant start to the season, which has seen him score five times in three Serie A games, is only increasing the frequency of such comparisons.

Dybala and Messi are set to go head-to-head when Barca host Juve on Tuesday, but Davids hopes the two players are admired in isolation.

"If you want to hurt Dybala, then continue making such comparisons," Davids told Gazzetta Dello Sport.

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"We need to leave him and let him grow in peace. Juventus have an incredible talent in their ranks, but he doesn't need to have extra pressure put on him.

"Messi's crown is heavy; right now he's on another level. He gets dozens of goals per year, especially in the decisive games.

"Dybala will grow more and more, but there's still a long way to go for him [to reach Messi's level]."

Davids, who played for both Juve and Barca, believes the Catalan club will still pose a real threat despite the departure of Neymar.

However, he did highlight their midfield as being something of a weakness compared to years gone by.

"Barcelona are always strong," Davids added. "But they're a little less stronger than they used to be; they're no longer an invincible machine.

"It's not down to Neymar's departure either - the engine in the middle is dull. In their best years they had Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta at their best."