Arsenal midfielder Andrey Arshavin is convinced the Gunners have to buy established players to properly compete with their main Champions League contenders.
Manager Arsene Wenger maintains his young squad is good enough to end four seasons without a trophy, and the team has started the season with three victories and 12 goals including a 6-1 win at Everton.
But Arshavin told the Sunday Times that he thought the club’s best chance of success would be with a bigger squad.
“We still have to buy - that’s my opinion,” he said. “We shouldn’t set Everton as a benchmark, we should be looking at the top teams of Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona.
“We should buy first-class players, regardless of their age. We should buy the ones who should improve our game. The top teams have much bigger squads than ours and that is why we have to buy.”
Having won 2-0 at Celtic in the first leg of the Champions League playoffs, Arsenal looks almost certain to reach the lucrative group stage of the competition where it will meet the other major contenders.