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Mirror UK / Sports

Liverpool told to pay £45m for Brighton man who'd be "perfect next to Van Dijk"

Crooks hailed Dunk's displays so far this season, calling him the best centre-back he's seen in the Premier League


Liverpool should make Brighton's Lewis Dunk their latest defensive addition, and partner him with £75m Virgil van Dijk.

That's the view of BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks anyway, with the former Spurs forward hailing the 26-year-old and claiming Liverpool should bid up to £45m for "the best centre-back he's seen this season."

Writing in his BBC Sport team of the week column - which was expanded to include all of the festive fixtures - Crooks selected Dunk and claimed that he'd be be a perfect addition for a team in the top four.

Dunk has been an ever-present for Brighton this season (Image: Getty Images Europe)

Garth Crooks has been impressed with Dunk this season (Image: @BBCMOTD/Twitter)

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Dunk - who has spent his entire career at Brighton save for a brief loan spell at Bristol City in 2013 - has played in all of the Seagulls' league matches this season.

He completed the full 90 minutes in all four festive fixtures - the 1-0 win over Watford, the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea, the goalless draw at Newcastle and the entertaining 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.

Dunk shone over the festive fixtures for Brighton (Image: AFP)

"It was Dunk's performance against Watford, and again at Newcastle, that left me thinking he is a top-four defender if ever I saw one," wrote Crooks.

"Whether he can mentally cope in that environment would be my only concern, but in terms of his defensive qualities I don't think I've seen a better centre-back this season. I've seen more polished performances but nothing quite so efficient.

"It struck me that Liverpool could do themselves a great service by making an audacious move for Dunk. What would he cost - £35m in today's grossly over-inflated market?

Van Dijk could make his Liverpool debut on Friday (Image: Liverpool FC)

"Offer £45m and I've no doubt Brighton boss Chris Hughton would drive him to Anfield himself.

"Could Brighton afford to turn that down? Alongside, Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool would suddenly have two towering defenders who know how to defend."

Van Dijk could make his Anfield bow in the FA Cup tie against Everton on Friday, where he's likely to partner one of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren or Ragnar Klavan, the corner of the Reds' winner at Burnley on New Year's Day.

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