Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis insists the club are “making progress” in a “fiercely competitive” market after responding to criticisms of their transfer activity.
The Gunners started the summer transfer window proactively, signing Granit Xhaka for £33m from Borussia Monchengladbach.
Arsene Wenger has made only one further signing however, with Takuma Asano joining for an undisclosed fee.
Only five clubs have made fewer signings than Arsenal, but Gazidis points to the business champions Leicester – who the club finished runners-up to last season – made last season.
“Leicester identified players from the French second division, so maybe there’s talent that we’ve been overlooking,” he told ESPN. “They did their talent identification well, they had great unity within the group, as well as quality.
“It wasn’t built on money. It was built on the great fitness work they did. It was built on all of these other elements. I think that’s going to be a continuing trend within the Premier League.”
Gazidis was then asked about claims from the Arsenal fans that the club are afraid of spending big, and he added: “We’re making progress in what is a fiercely competitive world, against competitors that have the capability to spend far more money than we do.
“We’re doing it by being very, very disciplined; spending money where we believe it makes a difference, but also giving young players a chance and believing in ourselves and our values.”
Leicester’s title win appears to have sparked a renewed vigour in what was an established elite of Premier League title challengers.
More sides than ever are expected to battle for the league this season, and Gazidis added: “I think it’s fantastic news for the Premier League, I think it’s fantastic news for fans of football.
“And I think it’s good news for fans of Arsenal because I think the keys to success will be how well you do things, and not just about financial firepower.”