The jobs footballers would have if they weren't footballers - including Man Utd, Liverpool, and Spurs stars

We asked AI to come up with some alternative career plans for a number of Premier League stars
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It finally happened, guys! Matt Ritchie, forgotten Newcastle United winger, got his HGV licence! I’m sure you’re as thrilled for him, and the entire Ritchie clan, as I am. It is, after all, traditionally speaking, the proudest day of a man’s life.

Mild facetiousness aside, who saw this coming? Professional footballer to qualified lorry driver is not a career path many take - and, of course, there is every chance that the Scotland international just has a burning case of purely recreational white line fever - but even in the current climate of utterly bizarre 24-hour rolling news havoc, this feels like a belated April Fool’s prank. In fact, has anybody checked in on what Joe Lycett has been up to this week?

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Regardless, Ritchie’s achievement got us thinking about what other footballers might be getting up to everyday if they weren’t, well, footballers. And then, as I started writing this piece, I got to pondering about whether or not I might one day have to retrain as a haulage driver when Artificial Intelligence inevitably comes to take away my job as a mediocre journalist. Naturally, in an effort to mull that existential miser over more thoroughly, I asked ChatGPT what alternative employment opportunities would best suit various Premier League stars. Here’s what it had to say on the matter...

James Milner

‘Renowned for his versatility on the field and professionalism off it, Milner could have pursued a career in sports administration or coaching. His disciplined approach and attention to detail might also have led him to a successful career in finance or accountancy.’

Can’t really argue with this shout from the computer. If there are two things that Milner combines effortlessly, it is the straight-laced adoration of physical exercise associated with a PE teacher, and the steady monotony of an accountant. The sort of man who does his taxes for fun.

Jack Grealish

‘Known for his creativity and flair on the pitch, Grealish might have pursued a career in the arts, such as acting or music. His charisma and outgoing personality could also have led him into the world of media or entertainment.’

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I would give my left arm to watch a shot for shot remake of Peaky Blinders with Grealish in the lead role as Tommy Shelby. And don’t lie, now that I’ve said it, you would too. There are Oak Furnitureland storage depots that would be less wooden.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

‘With his lightning-fast reflexes and agility as a defender, Wan-Bissaka could have become a professional parkour athlete, navigating urban landscapes with ease and performing jaw-dropping stunts.’

Ah yes, that well-renowned vocation, professional parkour athlete. Can’t imagine the pay is particularly good, unless you count pigeon droppings and discarded vapes as worthwhile loot. On the plus side, the health care and workplace benefits are also terrible. [Insert sarcastic thumbs up emoji.]

Mason Mount

‘With his creativity and vision on the pitch, Mount could have pursued a career as an art curator, showcasing his keen eye for aesthetics by curating exhibitions and promoting emerging artists.’

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Can’t decide if this is a serious suggestion or just a bad joke based on his surname being Mount. We have to pray it is the former. If the robots master crap puns I am done for.

James Maddison

‘Known for his creativity and eye for a pass, Maddison could have become a professional chef, experimenting with flavours and ingredients to create culinary masterpieces that delight the palate.’

No idea what an eye for a pass has to do with caramelising onions, but here we are. Presumably Maddison would be okay with this, provided he was permitted to serve a full Sunday roast at every cover.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

‘With his pinpoint crosses and vision on the pitch, liverpool/joe-cole-absolutely-right-liverpool-have-starlet-who-become-world-class-4569533" title="Joe Cole is absolutely right - Liverpool have a starlet who can become world class" rel="follow">Alexander-Arnold could have pursued a career as a professional quarterback in American football, leading his team to victory with his precision passing and strategic brilliance.’

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Word of advice, AI; good kicker does not necessarily equal good thrower. Just something to jot down while you’re on your quest to learn every piece of information in the universe and make humanity obsolete.

Jordan Pickford

‘With his calm demeanour and focus under pressure, Pickford could have pursued a career as an accountant, meticulously crunching numbers and balancing budgets with precision.’

‘Calm demeanour’. Good one.

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