Liverpool's search for an alternative left-back option to Andy Robertson appears to be coming to an end, with Olympiakos' Kostas Tsimikas on the verge of signing ahead of a deal worth £11.75m.

The ECHO understand that the initial shortlist consisted of four names, with those being Tsimikas, Jamal Lewis, Sergio Reguilon and Lloyd Kelly.

So why did the Reds opt for the Greek defender and how do the four players compare?

Firstly, the most encouraging aspect of Liverpool's search relates to the generic profile of the players involved. All four fit the criteria and tick the desirable boxes; they are young, mobile, attack-minded and available.

Last season, Manchester United targeted Aaron Wan-Bissaka but their alternative option was reported to be Max Aarons. Both of those players are young and English, but they are very different on the pitch in terms of what they are good and bad at.

Liverpool, by contrast, appear to have identified four full-backs that are comparable and suited to Jurgen Klopp's offensive brand of football.

Tsimikas is the oldest of the four but he's still just aged 24 and should technically be entering his peak. He's also exactly the same height as Lewis and Reguilon, standing 5-foot-10.

On the field, Tsimikas shows up as a keen runner; he's in the Robertson mould with his energy clear to see. The Scot averages roughly three progressive runs per 90 in the Premier League, while Tsimikas averages 3.1 in the Greek Super League.

A progressive run basically captures when a player carries the ball forward into space without taking on an opponent. Those who post many progressive runs are usually the most dynamic players, with Kyle Walker and Ben Chilwell near the top of Europe with figures of around 3.8 per 90.

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Premier League champions Liverpool are closing in on their first signing of the summer after agreeing a deal for Kostas Tsimikas.

The Olympiacos defender has emerged as the Reds' top target to compete with Andy Robertson at left-back.

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Interestingly, Reguilon and Lewis post slightly more progressive runs than Tsimikas on average, but all of their numbers are within the same ball park.

On the dribbling side, Tsimikas comes out on top. He posts more completed dribbles per 90 than the large majority of full-backs, with his average in the Greek Super League comparable to Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies, although the latter is performing in a much stronger league.

Tsimikas is also the keenest crosser of the ball of the four, averaging more attempts per 90 than all but two full-backs from Europe's top five leagues this season - Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jesus Navas. Reguilon follows close by, before a gap then emerges to Lewis and Kelly.

Once analysing the numbers and how the players in question perform, it's reasonable to suggest that Reguilon is probably the most capable at the moment, followed by Tsimikas. Lewis and Kelly are clearly talented and have a strong foundation to work from, but they are younger and require more development.

Kostas Tsimikas transfer news

However, Reguilon is contracted to Real Madrid having spent the season on loan at Sevilla. It's likely that his services would've cost a lot more than the £11.75m that Liverpool are about to pay for Tsimikas.

Norwich City supposedly wanted £20m for Lewis and once factoring all of those elements in, the Greek full-back shows up as the most sensible option, especially considering he'll technically arrive as a deputy.

For less than £12m, Liverpool are getting a player who has plenty of attacking qualities attached to his game. He's left-footed, lively, crosses and dribbles a lot, and he's used to competing with English teams having faced Wolves, Burnley, Arsenal and Tottenham in recent times.

His success on Merseyside remains to be seen but - especially given Liverpool's recent record in the transfer market - this looks like a shrewd buy.