Martin Keown has argued that Arsenal have shown they are capable of competing with the best through their bid for Luis Suarez as Arsene Wenger continues to pursue one of the Premier League's best strikers.
The bid for Suarez was one which surprised many pundits, with the Gunners not well-known for actively pursuing a top player in the Premier League. Their current outright transfer record stands at £15m on Andrey Arshavin and should the club land Suarez for their £40m+ bidding price, it would smash any amount Wenger has paid for a player in his 16 years in north London.
Arsenal are still a long way off successfully acquiring Suarez as Liverpool continue to insist the Uruguay international is not for sale. But Keown, who won three titles in his time with the Gunners, believes that Wenger is on the right track to showing the fans he is willing to spend big.
"It was a demonstration to Arsenal fans," Keown said, according to Metro. "The club were saying, 'We have £40million there. We have tried to buy someone else's best player for a change'. It has shown how serious Arsenal are about spending money.
"In the past, Arsene [Wenger] has nurtured them, then lost them just when they are at their best, as was the case with Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.
"Now he needs to go out and buy an obvious talent, someone who is going to hit the ground running. And they don't come cheap.
"Fair play to Liverpool for hanging on to Suarez but Arsenal still need to buy two or three players.
"If they do, I think there is a real chance."
The Gunners are about to begin their season without any major signings in the current transfer window. This is something of concern for a side that finished their last campaign just scraping into the top four.
Suarez has given conflicting interviews while on international duty this week, with one local Uruguayan paper claiming he has decided to stay at Liverpool while a Japanese publication has since claimed the striker retracted the comments and went as far as to insist he never made them.
And recent reports are saying that the Gunners are now willing to up their bid to close to £50m to bring the controversial star to the Emirates, which would certainly test Liverpool's resolve over their star striker.