Transfer deadline day: Gamer's guide to the best signings

Two males playing football computer game
Can virtual football ability translate into the real world?

With its madcap rush to get deals signed and sealed before the window slams shut at 11pm, you could be forgiven for thinking that transfer deadline day is all a bit of a game.

Which got us at BBC Sport thinking: what if it actually was?

So we asked Football Manager expert Alex Stewart - a man who is no stranger to snaffling bargains and spotting potential, all from the comfort of his own laptop on the popular computer game - to offer an alternative perspective on the transfer market.

The Southampton fan, 32, writes blogs about the sport, as well as being an authority on the intricacies of Football Manager.

Here, Alex runs the rule over five players who have impressed him in the virtual world - and who might just prove an astute last-minute buy for Europe's real life clubs.

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Lucas Romero

Velez Sarsfield midfielder Lucas Romero in action for Argentina under-20
Lucas Romero has been likened by BBC Sport's South American football expert Tim Vickery to "a slightly more defensive version of a young Diego Simeone"

Currently at Velez Sarsfield, every Football Manager player worth their salt knows this dynamic 20-year-old midfielder with superb ratings for tackling, determination, and even vision. He often moves to a Spanish or Portuguese team before making the transition to the Premier League. With high ratings across the board, he would suit any team lacking a strong, all-round presence in the centre of the park - perhaps Manchester United or Arsenal?

In real life: Romero has made 71 appearances for Velez Sarsfield since making his debut in 2012, scoring two goals. He also appeared for Argentina at the South American Under-20 championship in 2013, but couldn't prevent his side being eliminated at the group stages.

Ladislav Krejci

Ladislav Krejci in action for Sparta Prague
Ladislav Krejci has won 10 senior caps for the Czech Republic

Very much one for the hipsters is young Czech left-winger Krejci, currently on the books of Sparta Prague but destined to illuminate one of Europe's big leagues. He has great pace, crossing, and dribbling and develops into one of Europe's most skilful wide men. The 22-year-old would fit superbly into a team like Tottenham, who, in fact, bought him for a measly £3.4m in my current game before selling him to the mighty Barcelona for £14.25m.

In real life: Krejci has been a regular this season for club side Sparta Prague, who are currently a point off the top of the Czech league. He has also broken into the national team under Pavel Vrba, playing all four games in Euro 2016 qualification so far.

Dorin Rotariu

Dorin Rotariu (right) battles for the ball with Danny Da Costa
Dorin Rotariu (right) is the nephew of former Romanian international Iosif Rotariu, who played at the 1990 World Cup

This intelligent Romanian winger, with great anticipation and good creativity, is currently playing for Dinamo Bucharest. In my current save he is at Chelsea by way of Granada. Indeed, the Blues would make a sensible suitor for Rotariu, 19, who has the versatility to play anywhere across an attacking midfield three in a way that would suit Jose Mourinho's current set-up.

In real life: Rotariu has been used mainly as a substitute for Dinamo Bucharest this season. Ten of his 16 appearances have come from the bench.

Michael Bradley

Michael Bradley celebrates a goal for USA at the 2010 World Cup
Toronto and USA midfielder Michael Bradley played four matches on loan at Aston Villa in 2011

A move back to Europe might suit the midfield enforcer, especially before the season restarts across the pond. Bradley, 27, has superb all-round stats, especially in work-rate, teamwork, and tackling, and a better range of passing than you might expect. In my current game, he is with Manchester United and only cost £5.5m, but could perhaps suit Everton or even Southampton, to add a bit of steel while not compromising their passing game?

In real life: Bradley's move to Toronto in January 2014 took many by surprise, with many considering the dynamic midfielder a loss to the European game. Bradley previously played for Borussia Monchengladbach, Chievo and Roma - helping the latter to win their first 10 Serie A matches last season. He has also been a mainstay of the United States national team, collecting 91 caps and playing at two World Cups.

Michael Hector

Michael Hector
Michael Hector has had loan spells at no fewer than 11 different clubs during his time at Reading

A towering centre-back, with punchy figures for tackling, heading, and marking, and decent passing and vision for a centre-back, he is currently at Reading and, in my game at least, remains there. However, he is worth £7.25m for a team who finished 19th in the Championship so he must have something about him and the 22-year-old's stats support that view. Would be a fine signing for a ball-playing team that need a bit of muscle to replace an outgoing defender, perhaps West Ham?

In real life: Hector has been sent on loan to 11 different clubs during his spell at Reading. He has established himself at the Madejski Stadium this season though, making 30 appearances.

Will any of our real life managers take note? Stay across our transfer deadline day live for all the day's deals.

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