after that, it was a case of paying the right money for the right player. we went in for a few at what we thought were reasonable money - one player chose a different club, and other clubs disagreed with our valuation so we didn't buy. we didn't panic buy (which i think we've done in recent seasons) and arguably we're better off as a club for it both in financial terms and in not bringing in more deadwood.
i think benitez has been very canny - fix a couple of issues in the squad for very little cost, get rid of some high-wage deadwood, and see what we have to work with already at the club. then, when he asks for some more expensive signings in the future the club will be more inclined to listen and hopefully act on the request, plus the financial rules from UEFA and the PL will have changed, too.