Vito Mannone admits the amount of cash being splashed about by the top Premier League clubs feels like a “different world” to Sunderland.
But he is excited by the challenge of taking on the best the Premier League has to offer this season.
Manchester City, Sunderland’s opening day Premier League opponents at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday teatime, this week spent £47.5million on Everton defender John Stones, while Manchester United splashed out a world-record £89million fee on midfielder Paul Pogba.
Mannone admits he doesn’t believe the amount of money spent on big transfers in the current market is right.
But he is relishing the challenge of taking on the best.
“It’s a different world to us at the moment,” said Mannone, when asked about the amount of money being spent on the likes of England international Stones.
“I have been in a very good team like Arsenal who never spent money on a defender, so it’s Man City and we know they have the big transfer budget, they can do that.
“Personally, I don’t think it is right, but that’s football nowadays.
“You see the big money for players and surely they think he is a very good player and have gone for it.”
The amount of money in the top flight as a result of the bumper new television deal means there is even more pressure on clubs to keep up with their rivals.
“It looks to me like every team is getting better every season, so you need to keep the pace with them,” added Mannone, 28, who is set to start the season as David Moyes’s number one Sunderland goalkeeper.
“You need to try to be as good as they are.
“They are definitely getting better because they are bringing big players in from abroad, for example Manchester United signing Pogba, Ibrahimovic, then Man City signing players, the best managers coming in, you are thinking it will be a tough one, but it is a good challenge and very exciting.”
In stark contrast to the rest of the top flight, Sunderland have only made one signing so far – former Chelsea centre-back Papy Djilobodji arriving for £8million.
Djilobodji has no experience of playing in the Premier League, having only featured, very briefly, for Chelsea in the League Cup before spending the second half of last season on loan at Bundesliga club Werder Bremen.
“He has been good, he looks like he has a good left foot,” added Mannone on the 27-year-old Senegalese utility man. “There has not been enough time to judge really, but hopefully he will get into the squad and be quick to be settled into our environment.”