Tottenham are the only club that seem to be attempting to rival Manchester City’s £90m splurge in this summer’s transfer free-for-all having spent nearly £50m so far, with the potential for that total to tickle three figures should mooted deals for Willian and Erik Lamela go through.
Chastened by the probable departure of Gareth Bale, content no more to put up with Europa League football, the Lilywhites seem to be trying to barge their way into the Champions League with their wallet.
On balance this seems a good plan of action given the success of recent summer window binges, which show that providing you have a good manager directing the cash cannon, then top-table continental football will be yours.
Tottenham are currently 6/5 for a top-four finish, on a level footing with Arsenal.
The Sheikh Mansour-era Manchester City are an example of both the failures and successes of a big-spending summer in terms of a side’s pursuit of the top four.
Mark Hughes’ spell at QPR proved him less trustworthy with vast sums of dough than lottery lout Michael Carroll, but no one had realised this when he took over at City.
A summer splash of over £100m in 2008 yielded a tenth-placed finish, with another £120m spend the following year gaining the Welshman nothing more than the pre-Christmas sack.
City missed out on Champions League football narrowly at the end of the 2009/10 campaign, but with the more astute hand of Roberto Mancini on the money clip the following campaign they managed a third-placed finish after a £143m summer window outlay.
Oddly enough considering their reputation as the misers of the Premier League’s VIP area, Arsenal are another side who have proved that a big summer spend – by their own standards – can work the required magic on a squad looking to nail down a top-four place.
Although the Gunners had qualified for the Champions League in 2011/12, Spurs were but a point back in fourth, with European champions Chelsea six points behind them in sixth.
The need to strengthen was clear and sure enough Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud all played big roles in securing another top-four finish in 2012/13.
That Andre Villas-Boas has the required transfer nous has so far seemed quite clear, with James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho arriving during his short Porto tenure, while Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku joined under his auspices at Chelsea.
Among his Spurs signings there have been the odd lemons (Clint Dempsey, Emmanuel Adebayor) but he has also brought in some mainstays of the current line-up, including Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Hugo Lloris.