By Liam Twomey
Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal are once again in a position to compete financially with their wealthiest Premier League rivals.
Last summer Gunners boss Arsene Wenger shook off his reputation for thrift in the transfer market in emphatic style with the £40 million signing of Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil, smashing the club’s transfer record.
And in this transfer window the Frenchman is is showing a willingness to splash out again – Barcelona attacker Alexis Sanchez has already arrived in a £31.8m deal, while Goal understands Newcastle right-back Mathieu Debuchy is set to follow for £8m.
When asked at the launch of Arsenal's new PUMA kits whether this summer would leave the Gunners in position to challenge for a first Premier League title since 2004, Arteta replied: “That has to be the approach.
“We are Arsenal and we know for sure that we are going to bring some top players here.
“If we do that and keep the top players we already have fit, we’re going to have a great chance.”
Wenger endured a barrage of criticism for not spending more to keep Arsenal at the very top of the English game as the club looked to service the cost of building the Emirates Stadium, but Arteta is fully behind his club's approach.
“Financially the club has been really careful, and looking forward to the moment when they have the solidity to say ‘Ok, we can do it now’. We believe we can,” he added.
“But the way we are approaching things is very loyal and very rare to see in football, instead of panicking and thinking ‘it doesn’t matter that we have £200m debt’.
“It’s not the way Arsenal does things, and that says a lot about the club and the manager.”