If we don't have 1.5m to spend on a 25-year-old starting centre midfielder, then how could we even consider ourselves as one of the biggest clubs in the division, who expects to be in with a promotion shout?
Do you think we're not at that level? I do.
Coupling the above with just selling two players for ~£25m total. Sure, clubs are struggling, but we're probably much better off than most (now anyway), so 1.5m should not exactly be a stretch, not when being heavily linked to £10m+ players only last window (who were arguably less proven, in their respective positions).
1.5m isn't "throwing money around", spending £15m is, there's an order of magnitude difference. It's not like spunking 1.5m on some bloke from the French 3rd division etc.