Manchester City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne has claimed the club's record £210m summer spending was required to build a squad capable of winning the Premier League as they have now injected much needed youth into an ageing line-up.
Pep Gaurdiola splashed the cash throughout the summer window, securing the likes of Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva, and the club's chequebook may remain open as they also look to secure deals for Alexis Sanchez and Jonny Evans.
Despite some considering Manchester City's spending extravagant, De Bruyne was quick to insist the investment in the squad was needed to replace the players who have departed the club so they had a greater chance of securing silverware this season.
The 26-year-old said, via the Mirror: “We will try to win, but I think everybody invests a lot. We invested a lot of money on six or seven players.
“There’s a project going on and I think if everyone looks at the big picture, they see that a lot of the older players were released.
“We bought players who were almost all 23 or under so it’s a new team. It’s a new project and it takes time and it takes money.”
He added: “I think Manchester United spent a little bit less money for three players, so maybe they spent on average more money than us.
“Other teams like Tottenham didn’t really spend, but we had a lot of players released so we needed players to come otherwise we wouldn’t have had the squad to play."
With strength in depth a crucial requirement to compete across four competitions, de Bruyne was also pleased to see both Liverpool and Chelsea qualify for the Champions League, as they both benefited from playing one competition less last season.
He added: "I think the Champions League is probably the biggest cup for club teams to play, and I think everybody wants to compare clubs in the biggest leagues.
“It’s very good for England to have five teams now so everybody is a little bit on the same schedules, same levels so it can also make it very exciting for the Premier League.”