I would say looksmax as much as possible as long as you're stuck and can't move forward, and then see what you can get.
This may contradict what I was saying above, but I still have trouble determining how much status, intelligence and personality are part of the variance, because after all, they're as real as your looks.
Once thing is sure, it is part of the variance, you could say I have used my intelligence to get a hair transplants without getting butchered, or to (finally) admit to myself that lifting weights was important (and not only for women).
Let's put it this way, Arjen, what are you doing to truly increase your value? You already know the most radical way to do that for you. Other than that, I can't give you much advice, you said you were good at football, are you competing in an amateur club with men your age? I know it sounds stupid but it makes a little difference for girls to watch you compete or just be passionate about something.
After that I can only give you my own example, I don't have much of an idea of how I would fare on the dating scene now. My fiancée met me with a shaved head, no muscles, lower on the corporate ladder, not playing music on stage, etc. I've spoken about how small steps seemed to have a significant influence on how well I was doing with women.
For example, after I got my first "real" job, way less women would go silent after our dates than when I was like "yeah I'm unemployed", that's an easy one of course. Then I worked on my body, decided to start playing music on stage and one time got followed by a pretty girl after my performance, that was still with a shaved head. Only recently, I took looksmaxing further, put minoxidil on my face (oh no!) and now managed to grow a decent beard.
Those little "tweaks" rapidly compound, but none of them are that easily implementable. And I'm coming back to my main question to you, now phrased differently: you have a date, you get rejected, you get angry about it, you move on to the next date, between the rejection and the new date, what have you done to (truly) increase your value? And by that I don't mean, "develop your sense of humor" or "learn to listen", even though they can be useful to an extent, especially in a relationship.
Maybe I sounded like everything about you was fixed and hence you shouldn't bother. Oh no, you can change, but you're going to suffer through it, and it often seems to me that you're not ready to suffer, by I don't know, being a fool and take the plunge to get multiple hair transplants like I did. That would be a stupid move, no really, you're a NW5 and there's little chance that it works out, but be honest, is it your pride that prevents you from going there? I know bevause I've had your thought process, but I had been slapped around by life so much that I couldn't possibly give a fuck about not being an idiot who'd spend 10500€ on hair transplants.
Only yesterday my cousin told me I was crazy, and that I could have bought a Twingo for that price. Yes, I am crazy, I am a fool, and I like to believe that's the main reason I could get out situations that most reasonable people would like at and be like "yeah, he's fucked!". I hope I'm not rambling too much. To answer you question: increase your value (because it's possible) and then find out what you can get.