Whilst other clubs have wavered it's been Arsenal who have been the one constant in the top four for the best part of two decades now. They've battled it out with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and even Everton for a Champions League place during that period and where others have tapered off Arsenal have made themselves at home in the top four.
The original big four made way for the new world order. First Chelsea struck gold when Roman Abramovich bought the club and then more recently Manchester City joined the party. With the shift in the playing field Arsenal's expectations have been tweaked. Once considered shoe ins to be vying for the title come April/May, they're now more than happy to be finishing in a Champions League place.
While their staying power is admirable they've been perpetual underachievers for too long now. With so many top teams going through a rebuilding process and a transitional period Arsenal have had ample opportunities to capture their first Premier League title for 12 years. They've been happy to plod along in the middle lane as clubs have overtaken them.
Manager Arsene Wenger has been accused of being too relaxed in the transfer market. When he was appointed he was the instigator for the change that occurred in England. Signing young, talented players and blooding them in a technically gifted side that that played some of the purist forms of football. He was stuck in his ways for a time, too much over reliance on youngsters, and the clubs around Arsenal capitalised. Wenger has evolved his approach over the past few seasons. He's now spending big on readymade stars. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Granit Xhaka have all joined the club for some big fees; over £100 million for the three.
For years now Arsenal have been accused of being a centre-back, a centre-midfielder and a centre-forward away from a Premier League challenge. The signing of Xhaka addresses one of their needs and the bid for Leicester's Jamie Vardy shows Wenger know he lacks something else in the striking department. With that in mind I take a look at players Arsenal should sign in this window but ones they probably won't.
Inter Milan's Argentine striker is a natural goal scorer. The 23 year old has a 1 in 2 record since joining Inter Milan in 2013. Before the move he was a 1 in 3 striker for Sampdoria. He knows where the goal is, this is in a notoriously defensively strong league.
He's not of the Jamie Vardy Ilk, far from it, but if Wenger wants a potential upgrade on Olivier Giroud then this could be his man. Powerful in the air, he comes alive when the ball is in the area and although he doesn't have explosive pace he's far from a sloth.
With Inter in the midst of a takeover and an influx of Brazilian attacking talent on the way the club may want to cash in on Icardi. There are rumours the Serie A giant will accept around 30 Million Euros for their number 9.
The player involved in a tug of war between Juventus and Real Madrid. He's just recently rejoined Real Madrid after the Spanish club activated their buy-back clause, that's not the end of the saga though. There are reports that Madrid are looking to cash in on the highly sought after striker to fund a move for Paul Pogba. Morata would be an upgrade on Giroud and then some.
Morata isn't prolific, yet, but he is a big game player. Goals against Dortmund in the round of 16, Real Madrid in the Semi-final of the Champions League and Barcelona in the Final of the same competition show he's not fazed, no matter what the scenario is. His Juventus career ended on a high when he came off the bench to score the winner in extra time of the Coppa Italia tournament against AC Milan. His spell in Italy saw him register 27 goals.
Much like Icardi he's a striker closer to Giroud's style than he is a Jamie Vardy. He works hard off of the ball and his link up play is one of his main strengths, something that would suit the Arsenal style. There are reports implying he'd cost closer to £60 million. It's a lot of money but it's not like Arsenal don't have it.
The Atletico forward didn't have the best of seasons in the Spanish capital. First team minutes were scarce for the 22 year old, 966 minutes, and he only found the back of the net twice. A stark contrast to the season before that when the Argentine was playing for Villarreal where he scored 12 times in 1800 minutes.
He's not in the Olivier Giroud mould. He's not going to be aerially dominant but if you play to his strengths, which Arsenal would, he's bound to score goals. He's quicker than Icardi and Morata but not as explosive as Vardy. He does have a knack of creating space out of nothing, an invaluable trait in the Premier League.
South American strikers of this type tend to take the league by storm. Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez all had a lot of joy playing in England. At £20 million Vietto could be worth the risk. The man to put the finishing touches on the Arsenal play.
Lyon's poster boy. I can't remember the last time there was a transfer window which didn't see Lacazette lined with a big money move to Arsenal.
At 25 he's coming into his prime and with close to 80 goals over the past three seasons in Ligue 1 now should be the time for the player to move on and Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas to cash in on their star man.
A brilliant all-rounder, he runs the channels, he drops deep and he brings others into play. These traits combined with his electric pace and his unnerving ability in front of goal means he should be at the top of Arsenal's list but for whatever reason the club seem reluctant to pay what Lyon are demanding – 50 million Euros is the fee that Aulas is quoted as wanting.
Another Inter Milan player. The 24 year old centre-back has only been at the San Siro for a year after joining from Granada in an 8 Million Euro deal. His debut season for Inter was an impressive one. He featured in 34 games and even managed to score twice.
What makes him an ideal centre-back for Arsenal is how composed and effective he is on the ball. He finished the season with a pass success rate of 87% meaning he hardly wasted the ball. A necessary trait in a ball playing side. Not only this but he's also aerially dominant winning 72% of his duels, again an important trait in the Premier League. A bid of around the £20 million mark should be enough to make Inter sit up and take note.
A 20 year old colossus. The Bayer Leverkusen defender has been at the club for one year after joining from Hamburg in a £10 million deal. With reports the German club are looking at signing two defenders this Summer many journalists seem to think Tah could be on the move for the third consecutive year.
Despite his young age he just exudes self confidence. Unbelievably dominate in the air, composed on the ball and positionally sound. He had a pass success rate of 80% last season and won an impressive 3.6 aerial duels per 90. Watching him you wouldn't believe he hasn't even got 100 first team matches under his belt yet. His fine form didn't go unnoticed as he got a call-up to the German Euro 2016 squad. The vultures are circling and it won't be long until he's on the move. Arsenal would be a perfect for the player. Reports from Germany suggest Bayer would be willing to accept £20 million for the defender.