By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger is confident that Arsenal can become England’s No 1 club AND stay self-sufficient.

The recession has bitten football over the past 12 months or so and stories of financial woe are on the up - with Portsmouth hogging most of those negative headlines at the moment.

The common conception that you must spend to succeed is being challenged by Arsenal this season as Arsène Wenger’s side push for the title despite making a profit in the transfer market.

The Frenchman was urged to splash the cash last summer but, after drafting in Thomas Vermaelen, he has promoted from within. Wenger’s long-term policy is bearing fruit and he believes it can take Arsenal to the top of the Premier League tree.

“That is our target, to become the No 1 team in the country, but we know that the competition becomes harder and harder,” he said.

“For a few years it was Man United, then Chelsea came and then you have now Man City as well and you have some other teams who work well, some other clubs like Tottenham, Aston Villa.

“So it becomes harder and harder but I believe a lot we have good rules here. We manage the Club within our financial resources and I always did do that and we have a very young team.”

Debt is a hot topic in football with Manchester United and Liverpool both shouldering plenty of it in the wake of takeovers. So are Arsenal in a position to capitalise?

“I think we are the team who brought out more young players than any other team in the country,” said Wenger. “That is why if you look forward we are not in a position today where we have to say we have to spend £150million to build a team.

“We have a team. If we have to add one, even at 30 [million] we can do it, if not we can rely on what we have.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 30 Jan 2010