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The manager believes his side were fighting a losing battle in previous seasons because of their lack of financial muscle

Arsene Wenger claims it has been "impossible" for Arsenal to win the Premier League in the past because of financial constraints.

The Gunners, who suffered their worst ever start to a season under Wenger last term, have not won the title since 2004 and have seen Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all triumph over the last 11 years.

Wenger has had to contend with the financial impact of moving from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, as well as the sale of numerous key players.

"Of course," he told The Telegraph. "When you lose your best players and see opponents strengthen their squad – and they are already stronger than you – it is impossible."

Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure and Cesc Fabregas all departed as the Gunners struggled to keep up with their big-spending rivals both on and off the pitch, but Wenger says the club's mentality has now changed.

Mesut Ozil arrived for a club record €60 million in 2013 and he was joined by €50m man Alexis Sanchez last summer, while Petr Cech has been prized from Chelsea ahead of the 2015-16 campaign.

"We have reduced the gap and I believe we are ready to go further," Wenger added. "We now have the stability that gives us strength. Before I was more exposed to ‘Who will go?' and now the question I get more is ‘Who will come?'

"The transfer market is not over. We can still buy but I don't think we will sell. Our potential in the market has changed."

He added: "It's our target [to close the gap] and we have a chance in a very competitive league. We finished third and won the FA Cup so that shows we're not far away. We have a good cohesive group with the ability to do better.

"Will we win the title this season? You cannot guarantee that in the Premier League. I just say we want to. I promise we will fight to win. A manager has to take the best potential out of the team he has.

"For example, the year we lost it at Birmingham [a 2-2 draw when Eduardo broke his leg in February, 2008], we could have. Last year, no, because after six games we were 11 points behind Chelsea. We feel we have a chance this year, all going well."

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