Arsenal finished the season in a disappointing fifth place after Unai Emery took over from Arsene Wenger.
Many understand that such a change would require some time getting used to and this season can be written off as a transitional year.
But with little money to spend in the summer, the Spanish coach will have to perform a mini-miracle to stand a chance of toppling the likes of City and Liverpool.
Both clubs flexed their financial muscles in recent times and have reaped the rewards, finishing first and second respectively – more than 25 points ahead of third-placed Chelsea.
For the Gunners, they finished a staggering 28 points behind Pep Guardiola’s champions but ex-player Parlour has told the Arsenal board to splurge out this summer.
He said: “They are a long way behind Liverpool and Manchester City. Maybe they have to spend a bit more money.
“You see what Liverpool did – they needed a centre-back and in comes Virgil van Dijk. Nobody mentions how much he cost now. The same with Alisson in goal.
“It’s all about investment. As much as I hate to say that money is everything, but it’s always gone that way.
“Sometimes you have to go beyond your budget, absolutely.
“If you can attract a player and you know he is very keen to go, sometimes you have to push the boat out a little but further and take the gamble.”
Arsenal are active in the market but are yet to sign a player.
But talks are ongoing between intermediaries and clubs and fans can expect some incoming deals soon, if all goes to plan.
One star that looks nailed on for an Emirates switch is Kieran Tierney of Celtic.
The 22-year-old could move for a fee in the region of £20m-£25m and would solve several defensive problems at Arsenal where he is able to play along all positions in the back-four.
But moves for Yannick Carrasco and Ryan Fraser have stalled over problems with the transfer fee, with both Dalian Yifang and Bournemouth reluctant to listen to offers lower than £30m.
With a reported budget of just £45m, Emery must be creative with his funds or sell several players to boost the transfer kitty.
*** Arsenal fans will love how Kieran Tierney reacted news the Gunners had bid for him. Read more here. ***