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5 centre-backs that Liverpool can look to sign to partner Virgil van Dijk next season

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63.01K   //    04 May 2018, 12:16 IST

Liverpool v Everton - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Virgil van Dijk celebrates as he scored on his Liverpool debut.

Virgil van Dijk officially became the world most expensive defender in the history of football when he finally sealed a £75m dream move from Southampton to English giants Liverpool in the January transfer window.

The Dutchman also became Liverpool's most expensive player eclipsing the £48 million the Reds paid RB Leipzig to acquire the services of Guinea midfielder Nabby Keita.

He was recently named the Dutch national team skipper by Ronald Koeman and had a dream debut for the Reds, scoring in front of the Kop against their Merseyside rivals Everton in an FA Cup tie.

The arrival of the Dutchman has led to significant improvements in the team's defence with assured performances at the back allowing the midfielders to press high up the opposition half to create more havoc.

However, the Reds need to acquire the services of a top-class centre-back in the summer to form a formidable partnership with van Dijk next season to propel the team to their first English Premier League title since 1990.

Here is a look at 5 centre-backs that Liverpool can look to sign to partner the world's most expensive defender at the heart of their defence next season;

#5 James Tarkowski (Burnley)

England v Italy - International Friendly
Tarkowski has been a revelation for Burnley this season

Tarkowski has had a fairytale football career from English League One side Oldham Athletic to starring in the English Premier League for Burnley. Having been at Burnley for three seasons, Tarkowski has developed into a top-class defender under the guidance of Sean Dyche.

Tasked with replacing Michael Keane who joined Everton in the summer, James has exceeded expectations with assured performances at the heart of the Clarets' defence helping them keep 10 clean sheets in all competitions this season. Tarkowski averages 11 defensive actions per game with 35% tackle rate, 35 interceptions, 177 clearances and 37 blocks.

His outstanding performance this season alongside Ben Mee has seen him surpass his time all-time league appearances in both Championship and Premier League appearances for Burnley (23) as he has made 24 league appearances this season.

His marvellous performances at Turf Moor this season earned him an England call-up where he made his debut for the Three Lions in a 1-1 friendly match draw against Italy. He is in contention for a place in Gareth Southgate's 23-man World cup squad.

His exploits have been rewarded with a new deal till 2022 and therefore, pricing him away from the Clarets would take a significant amount of money.

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