Kolo Toure believes it is vital for the Arsenal squad to remain intact ahead of the new Premier League season.
The Gunners were unable to mount a strong challenge for the title during the 2008/9 campaign and finished 18 points behind champions Manchester United in fourth place.
There have been calls for Arsene Wenger to bring in reinforcements during the summer in a couple of key positions.
However, Toure realises how difficult it can be for new players to adjust and is more concerned about who might leave.
The Ivorian defender is confident that Arsenal's young side will improve next term if there are no departures in the transfer window.
"I think keeping the team together is the most important thing," Toure told the club's official website.
"When you stay with your team-mate for three or four years you start to learn how he plays.
"That helps you for the games and I think we have been together for a while now. It's important for our improvement next season.
"Sometimes when you bring somebody else, these players have to settle and that can take a year sometimes.
"The Premier League is already difficult so if you play six months badly it's difficult to come back."