Saracens fly-half Charlie Hodgson feels Premiership clubs are adopting the right approach by investing in academies rather than attempting to follow the "unsustainable" lavish spending of Top 14 clubs.
New Zealand World Cup winners Dan Carter and Ma'a Nonu are among the latest high-profile players to make lucrative moves to France.
Toulon have been crowned European champions three years in a row, while the likes of Racing 92 and Clermont Auvergne are among the favourites to win the prestigious competition this year.
However, Saracens are top of Pool One in the European Rugby Champions Cup and lead the Premiership, having maintained a 100 per cent record in both competitions thus far.
Wasps and Leicester Tigers also top their Champions Cup pools and Hodgson believes the talent that has emerged at Premiership clubs shows that investing in youth is the way forward.
The former England fly-half told Omnisport: "They [Top 14 clubs] have got an unbelievable budget and have some amazing players playing for them, but it's unsustainable.
"It's a big thing for us at Sarries to develop the academy, we have some unbelievable players coming through the system.
"I think you can see with the guys that are playing at the moment, there is a core group of players that have come through the academy who are already tried and tested at this level and doing unbelievably well.
"Yes, it is difficult to compete with these guys [the wealthy French sides], but we are going down a different route with the academy and that's what Saracens are good at.
"You can't just have a team of players who have come through the academy, that's why we have the other guys to complement that but developing the academy is what you want and every team in the Premiership is the same.
"You see in the Premiership each week that it's not just Sarries bringing players through the system, there is a great production line of players coming through at each club and it's testament to the clubs that are doing that."