Arsenal are “going nowhere” with a reported transfer budget of £60 million ($80m), says Emmanuel Petit.
The Gunners have opted to move in a different direction this summer, with Arsene Wenger heading through the exits at Emirates Stadium after 22 years.
Former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery has been handed the reins and charged with the task of returning the club to the Premier League’s top four and Champions League competition.
He will, however, have to hit those targets while working with a recruitment kitty which sits well below that on offer to domestic and European rivals.
Petit expects that to hold new-Look Arsenal back, with the former title-winning midfielder telling Paddy Power : “When I hear about the amount of money Emery has to spend, I can't believe it. Where are you going with £60m? You're going nowhere.
“With that amount of money, you can put the best manager in the world on the sideline and the team won't change much. There is quality at the club, but not to match the likes of Manchester City or Liverpool. They need to bring in top quality players.
“I want to say to the board: can you just stop bringing in young players for one year? We've had enough of young players. The club is full of them. It's been like this for 15 years now, we need something else.
“We need talented experienced players. We need big characters and big personalities. This is what has been missing. For me, £60m is ridiculous.”
While bemused by the actions of the Arsenal board when it comes to bringing in fresh faces on the playing staff, Petit does believe that they made the right decision in appointing Emery .
The ex-France international said: “Emery is very talented. He has a very specific vision of what he wants to do on the pitch with his players. At Arsenal he will probably want to do exactly what he did at Sevilla.
“He was unable to do that at Paris Saint-Germain because of the egos in the dressing room. He was being eaten by the players, and he didn't have the personality to be the leader of the dressing room.
“When the Arsenal players meet him for the first time they will be surprised. They will see a young and talented manager, but his desire, passion, commitment and professionalism may surprise them.
“He loves the game so much that he reminds me of Arsene. He eats and sleeps football – he doesn't have a life, he's like Wenger was at the beginning of his career.
“Having watched him over the past two years in France, you could see he was frustrated. it was obvious he was alone at the club.
“The President didn't protect him and Emery had to front up alone to criticism. The players spoke out against him. I pitied him sometimes – he never got the chance to do what he wanted.
“There were too many divas in the PSG dressing room. Some at Arsenal can be the same, but I hope they give him the chance.
“I want to see the same passion and desire that Liverpool show, which is what Emery's Sevilla used to produce. I want to see Arsenal express themselves, no matter the opponent or the tactical system.
“Quick passing, quick movement, then pressure straight away when you lose the ball. I desperately want to see that type of play back at Arsenal.”