Former Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United forward Garth Crooks has urged Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to further bolster his defence by completing the signing of Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk.

The 26-year-old has started every match for Chris Hughton's side this season, which includes eight clean sheets. Three of them came in the last five matches during the festive period and conceded four goals in the process.

Dunk was impressive with his display in Brighton's 1-0 win over Watford and a goalless draw against Newcastle United at St James' Park. Crooks was so impressed with the central defender that he included him in his "Team of the Festive Period" along with Manchester City's Kyle Walker and Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta.

Liverpool completed the signing of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for £75m ($101.5m). The Dutch international, who has been a long-term target for the Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, became the most expensive defender in the world.

Crooks believe a bid of around £45m ($60.9m) from Liverpool would be sufficient for Brighton to sanction his sale in the January transfer window. The former forward also stressed that Dunk and Van Dijk can collectively improve the Merseyside club's back four.

"What a result it was for Brighton to take the points against Watford on 23 December. 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," Crooks told the BBC.

"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?

"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. They should be paying me a consultancy for this column!"

Lewis Dunk
Lewis Dunk has started all 22 Premier League games for Brighton & Hove Albion this season Getty