I write with a heavy heart today as my destiny is still as unclear to me as it has ever been. It seemed that just weeks ago I was prepared to join Arsenal, leaving behind that insufferable egomaniac and his penalty-kick hogging ways and getting a few chances a year to stick it to that other insufferable egomaniac and his “Special One” nonsense. Between the two of them, I’ve been made to feel like an unwanted step-child. I wish I could go somewhere where I’d feel wanted.
Instead, diary, I drift along in limbo, buffered this way and that by the cruel summer winds, casting this way and that for something solid to hold onto. Each day, I scan the headlines, desperate for some information that will confirm for me once and for all. It seemed that I was ready to seize my destiny with my own hands and to forge it into something once again glorious, resurrecting the form that saw me scoring goals with aplomb, at will, and with stunning style. The idea that I could do so at a club as venerated as Arsenal was almost too much to bear.
At times, I’ll admit that I felt doubt, and perhaps this uncertainty is my own punishment. I wondered to myself, pacing like Hamlet, if I was up to the task or if it would destroy me through its immensity. I asked the heavens, “who am I, La Pipita, to dare believe that I can score 20 goals a season in the Premier League?” Yes, I have done this and more in La Liga, but this is after all little more than a two-team league.
At other times, I have committed the sin of arrogance, daring to assume that I deserve to be Arsenal’s number-one striker and it is perhaps this crime for which I am punished. Yes, I am the third-highest scorer in La Liga since 2007, behind only Messi and that Portuguese prick, but who am I to presume? I have flayed myself and prostrated myself before the Lord to atone for my high-minded ways.
And yet, I can’t stop my mind from wondering what, if anything, I have done wrong. I have allowed my family members to speak publicly and encouragingly of our discussions with Arsenal. I have allowed myself to be photographed boarding a plane. I have “agreed personal terms” and was ready to move to London. I had hoped to do so by now, but now I hear that the club is in Asia, so there is not a way to meet with Arsène to sign any paperwork. In the meantime, I learn of other movements for other players, players who have besmirched their reputations and brought embarrassments to their clubs, fans, and families—something I could never do, but maybe I should do something controversial, something to show that there is more to me than scoring many, many goals. Shall I kick a small animal or knock down a child? It seems that these are things that some of these, how do you say, Gooners approve? I do not know.
I am confused and disheartened, diary. I learn now that my club wants £37m for me. I am not sure I approve this valuation. It seems to make it harder for me to leave, and it puts more pressure on me to perform whether I stay or go. I am not sure I can take much more; the strain of this process seems to grow with each passing day. Maybe I should just sign with Napoli and end this whole saga once and for all.
First, though, I will check my voicemail and email one more time each before going to bed. Perhaps Arsène has tried to reach me from Vietnam. I will share with you any updates that I find. Thank you, dear diary, for allowing me to unburden myself to you. This ordeal has been wearying to say the least.