As Arsenal prepare for their season-opener against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Arsene Wenger has once again expressed his bemusement at the money being spent by title rivals clubs this summer, especially Manchester United.
The Arsenal boss is convinced that paying out in excess of £150 million on players will not guarantee United a return to the division’s summit.
‘Man United is the richest club in the world so not many teams can compete on a financial amount but I feel it doesn’t make a difference because on the pitch we can compete and that is most important,’ he said.
‘It’s not a financial competition, football.
‘The financial competition does not always reflect specifically in the table. Leicester has shown that last year.’
While the Gunners boss has made just one high-profile acquisition since the end of last season – the £35m capture of Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach, United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all invested heavily in their squads prior to the start of the new campaign.
‘We knew that would happen, it was not difficult to anticipate,’ Wenger said when pushed on the topic of increased transfer fees in the English top flight.
‘It was difficult to imagine five or 10 years ago but maybe it’s a consequence of the success and popularity of the Premier League.
‘If your opponent pays £40m, if you want the player you have to pay £45m.
‘We just try to compete at our level with all the assets we have.’
It’s the same old story by Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, Everyone knew that with the massive new TV deals the influx of the superstar manager, that the top teams in England would be spending huge amounts of money this summer. Which in turn would drive up the price of players.
That is exactly what we have seen, with United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool all accepting the new valuations and making the purchases they wanted.
In North London, Arsenal, and Spurs also, have refused to get involved in these bidding wars and as a result, both sides mgith find themselves outside the top four at the end of the season.