Having made an excellent start to the 2016/17 campaign before fading away to finish fourth, Liverpool will be hoping to stay the course this time around as they seek a first title in the Premier League era.
Jürgen Klopp’s side have been an absolute joy to watch going forward, but there can be little doubt that they need to improve defensively in order to achieve success.
James Milner did an admirable job filling in at left-back last season, but a more natural alternative is needed to at least provide the utility man with competition for his place.
According to reports in the Liverpool Echo, one potential target could well be Henrique Dalbert, though Inter Milan and Arsenal are also thought to be keeping tabs on the Brazilian.
At just 23 years of age, the exciting youngster still has much to learn, but his debut campaign for Nice was certainly an impressive one as he helped them to secure an unexpected third-place finish in Ligue 1:
|23Y 9M||AGE||23Y 9M|
|5FT 11IN||HEIGHT||5FT 11IN|
|11ST 6LB||WEIGHT||11ST 6LB|
|FL | NIC |||| NIC | EL|
|06/16 - 06/17||06/16 - 06/17|
In fact, across 37 top-flight and Europa League appearances, the defender helped his team to keep 13 clean sheets at a rate of roughly one every three games.
Blessed with genuine pace and eager to get forward whenever the opportunity arises, Dalbert would provide Liverpool with real balance, doing a similar job down the left to the one that Nathaniel Clyne currently performs down the right:
|POS: DEF||AGE: 23Y 9M|
|HEIGHT: 5FT 11IN||WEIGHT: 11ST 6LB|
|FL | NIC | 16/17||16/17 16/17 | NIC | FL|
It could be argued that the €30m-rated full-back still has some developing to do defensively, but Nice conceded 0.3 fewer goals per game in Ligue 1 last season when the Brazilian was involved.