Friday 23 February 2018

This football artist’s latest project is all about the transfer moves that might have been

Would any of these players have achieved more at another club?

Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Roberto Carlos
Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Roberto Carlos

By Max McLean

Some football transfer rumours seem too good to be true, and while most never happen, some come closer to becoming reality than you might have thought.

Dave Will is a football artist currently taking some of those near misses and converting them into imagined newspaper headlines to illustrate what might have been.

“It picked out famous moments, like Diego Maradona’s handball, and then proposed a new series of events that would have taken place if that goal hadn’t been given.

“It’s similar to why games like the Fifa titles and Football Manager are so popular,” Dave continued. “You can start to imagine a fictional world where your team manage to pull off a great transfer that could propel your side to new heights.”

A perfect example of Dave’s work is this mocked-up newspaper, wonderfully titled The Daily Football, which ponders what the back pages might have looked like had Maradona signed for Sheffield United early in his career.

Would Maradona have won two World Cups had he enjoyed a football education in the north of England, for example? Very possibly, but which nearly-transfers does Dave think would, and wouldn’t, have worked?

“I’m sure Wayne Rooney to Chelsea, Dani Alves to Manchester City, and even Paul Pogba to Barcelona would have all turned out OK,” said Dave.

“However, Lionel Messi to Rangers sounds like a complete disaster – imagine him as a 17-year-old against some tough-tackling Scottish centre-halves playing away on a terrible pitch.”

And while it would have been incredible to have seen Roberto Carlos dominating the left-hand side of the Upton Park pitch in the 1990s for example, Dave is realistic about what the reality might have been, saying: “It’s hard to imagine young players like Maradona and Zinedine Zidane would have reached the heights they did if they had come to England when they had the chance.”

Still, it’s fun to imagine, something Dave’s Instagram posts encourage. This year the football artist is producing a series of projects on Instagram, with the Failed Football series the latest.

To follow the rest of the series, Dave’s work can be found on his Instagram page, right here.

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