Mauricio Pochettino suggested Tottenham have to shape their squad in a different way to their rivals in order to compete at the top of the Premier League.
Spurs had gone 18 months without making a signing before bringing in Leeds United teenager Jack Clarke and immediately sending the winger back on loan to Elland Road in July.
Clarke was indicative of the of business Spurs conducted in the window, with the arrivals of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon amassing plenty of experience yet still burgeoning talents that Pochettino will look to hone in the coming years.
Pochettino, who has guided Tottenham to four consecutive top-four finishes, says the development of young talent remains Spurs' best chance of continued success.
"We sign players who are young and have the potential. Tanguy Ndombele only played two seasons at Lyon, didn't win anything and we brought him here to try to make him a top player," he said.
"Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis is similar. Ryan Sessegnon is more of a potential player and, of course, we signed Jack Clarke.
"When you compare with the different teams who are in the same race as us it's a completely different way. People understand we are playing to try to win but we have different resources to fight in the same race with teams that operate in a different way.
"I don't like to complain but when Kyle Walker was at Tottenham and we sold him to City for £55million two years ago, Kyle Walker-Peters was a kid.
"Now we've sold Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters [now 22] is playing.
"Maybe he was the fourth or fifth option when Kyle Walker was here so it's important people realise we're building players and that they're still young.
"He needed to compete against Raheem Sterling [in Tottenham's 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Saturday] and the best team.
"So, it's a process that is completely different when you compare it to Manchester City, to Manchester United or Arsenal, Chelsea, teams like this.
"They are preparing themselves to win. For us the priority was to build the new stadium and, of course, to win because we want to win but the way we operate is completely different. Some people struggle to understand what the project is at Tottenham."