Mikel Arteta could see his Arsenal squad bolstered further in the January transfer window despite the north London club being the biggest spenders in the summer.
The Gunners, who sit fifth in the table after overcoming a difficult start to the campaign, have £201m to play with without breaking financial fair play regulations according to a new report from the academic Kieran Maguire, which was first published in the Daily Mail.
But neighbours Tottenham Hotspur have the greatest gap with a remarkable £400m.
Five of the big six have the most money to spend – pointing to the regulations being flawed. While Spurs are some way ahead of the rest, Liverpool are second on £273m, with Manchester United on £243m and Chelsea on £241m.
Arsenal then follow with Manchester City further back on £84m. Everton are in the worst shape with a current deficit of £35m, while Crystal Palace and West Ham United have £66m and £71m to spare.
“Spurs’ net transfer spend since 2010 is between a quarter and a half of the other Big Six clubs and it is the most successful club in terms of keeping its wages low as a proportion of income the club generates,” Maguire said. “Spurs have had a business model rather than a trophy winning model.
“Daniel Levy has run the club as a business superbly, but if you view it as more than a business then it’s not superb. The gap between Spurs and the bigger clubs has been maintained. If Spurs are happy to be sixth, then fine.”
Arsenal’s focus is likely to remain on investing in young players who are likely to develop rather than any superstar additions but the freedom will allow a spluge should they see fit.