Arsenal have spent around £55m over the past 14 months, with Manchester City cruising past £320m over the same period, so boss Arsene Wenger can hardly be accused of pandering following reports he might double the former amount on just two signings over the next week.
Deportivo La Coruna forward Lucas Perez and Valencia centre-half Shkodran Mustafi are expected to make their way to north London for combined fees totalling £52m, but Wenger can hold his head high having stuck to his principles like crazy.
Mustafi, who is thought to be moving for an eye-watering £35m fee, must be seen as a long-term replacement for fellow German Per Mertesacker, who has given 149 games of Premier League service for a mere £10m outlay five years ago.
Laurent Koscielny cost around the same and has proved a mainstay for both Arsenal and his native France since 2011.
The transfer market has moved on, with the jury out on Gabriel Paulista at similar money, while up to £16m paid to Southampton for Calum Chambers three years ago hasn’t looked well spent.
Wenger may have got lucky with £2m newboy Rob Holding, who has started both the Gunners’ Premier League matches since his summer switch from Bolton, but with the likes of John Stones fetching £47m in his switch from Everton to City, bargains seem increasingly a thing of the past.
It’s not like the Frenchman hasn’t spent Mustafi money before, shelling out around £32m for Alexis Sanchez in 2014’s slightly-more straightened financial times, with the Gunners’ record signing Mesut Ozil setting them back in excess of £42m the previous summer.
Arsenal fans are right to question the lack of killer instinct in recent seasons, but Wenger has delivered a new stadium and perpetual Champions League football, pretty much what was promised.
If they get away with only spending £110m over the past three transfer windows, which they might just touch if this double deal goes through, it will still be less than three times as much as City, two and a half times what Manchester United have spent, and more than £40m down on Chelsea.
They finished second last term and are out to a backable price to go one better at 11/1 this season, after a shaky start.