On the day that Spanish international and lucrative midfielder Pablo Fornals signed for West Ham, we can look back on another target that has signed for another club.
Fornals joined the Hammers for around the £24m mark from Villareal, and the La Liga outfit, struggling last season but full of talent, could have gotten that figure from a host of clubs.
The signing may not have been needed by our club at this moment, that is down to opinion – but what has changed is that the majority of clubs have more than enough funds to go out and purchase the cream of the crop.
With our meagre budget – that may or may not be around the £40m mark – do we have enough to progress to where we want to be?
With clubs of the stature of West Ham going out and signing not only Spanish internationals, but ones of significant talent and a great age too – do we now not have to recognise the shifting goalposts and use our bigger financial muscle to strengthen substantially?
Clubs around us, clubs that really have no business signing players like Fornals, are now able to rival us for spending, wages. So the only thing we have to lure players to The Emirates is our name, our brand – and the promise that we will return to where we were before – a fully established Champions League club.
How do we return there? We need to buy.
Everton, West Ham, Leicester, they have more than enough funds to now hold aspirations of real improvement. Our defence is on its last legs and we have these clubs breathing down our neck with a few well chosen transfers.
Right now, the gap between us and the top four is closable – but if we continue to close the pursestrings, then the door to our former stature will be closed to us too.
Our defence needs two players, our midfield needs another central, box to box man, we need width.
Without these additions – and of top quality – then we will not only miss out on improving on last season, but we could be mid-table fodder sooner than we realise.