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03rd Aug 2016

One of West Ham’s Europa League opponents was signed via LinkedIn

He's one of a kind

Tom Victor

Many of you will have a LinkedIn account. About 5% of you will admit to both (a) using it regularly and (b) having a clue what it’s good for.

West Ham’s Europa League opponents NK Domžale know what it’s all about, though, after signing one of their first-teamers through the business social network.

Spanish right-back Álvaro Brachi, who played 90 minutes in the Slovenians’ 2-1 first-leg victory, responded to a LinkedIn ad from manager Luka Elsner – presumably the last resort for a club in desperate need of defensive reinforcement back at the start of the year.

And Brachi will once again find himself lining up against a former team-mate – he came up through the ranks at Real Betis alongside West Ham goalkeeper Adrián.

“We needed a replacement [for outgoing captain Nejc Skubic] and could not find one in Slovenia and had no other choice of players,” Domžale PR officer Grega Krmavnar told BBC Sport back in February.

“LinkedIn was just an idea from our head coach Luka Elsner, so we decided it would be a good way, so Elsner decided to post it on the site on his profile.”

Brachi was the best of the applicants and got the job, just like you might in any other walk of life.

If it’s good enough for Stan Collymore

But does it beat our favourite ever bizarre signing?

Back in 2001 lowly Wycombe Wanderers had reached the FA Cup quarter-finals. The only problem was a spate of injuries meant boss Lawrie Sanchez – who headed the winner in the Cup final for Wimbledon in 1988 – had no fit strikers to face Leicester in the big game.

His solution? He advertised on Teletext for a non-Cup tied striker. Step forward Roy Essandoh, latterly of East Fife, Motherwell and Finnish sides JJK Jyvaskyla and Vaasan Palloseura (us neither), who inevitably scored the winner.

“I only met him the Tuesday before last,” said a shell-shocked Sanchez after the match.

“I’d never heard of him before and he was the only one to answer a Teletext message from us pleading for any striker to come forward.”

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