Nigel De Jong has defended Sheikh Mansour's massive spending at Manchester City, after the club splashed hundreds of millions of pounds assembling their table-topping squad.
While some see the billionaire's investment as detrimental to the game of football in general, the Dutch midfielder counteracts the claim, arguing that the Citizens' revolution has improved the standard in the top-flight, and caused the club's rivals to up their game.
"You just have to look at Liverpool and Arsenal," De Jong told the Sunday Mirror. "They have lost what I call their subscriptions to a place in the top four. They now have severe competition from other clubs.
"First, it came from Chelsea. Now we are a competitor too. Arsenal and Liverpool are forced to consider making new signings to strengthen their teams.
"They can't survive in the top four with a modest transfer policy or just a couple of ordinary signings. There are six or seven teams who can fight for the four top places in the Premier League now."
After moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2009, De Jong reveals how he was sold on the club's ambitions, and believes that they are now starting to realise their potential and can push on to become England's champions.
"Everyone thought I was mad [when I joined]," he added. "Why did I prefer Man City above other clubs?
"But Sheik Mansour's people sold the club and their ambitions very well to me. They said to me 'within four years, we will have a team that will play for the league title'.
"And this season is the first year that is happening. I really think we can go and become the new champions."
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