Centre back Philippe Senderos has vowed that he can be the man to replace Sol Campbell at the heart of Arsenal's defence.
The Swiss international is currently fighting his way back from a dislocated shoulder suffered in the World Cup match against South Korea.
But while Ivory Coast international Kolo Toure looks set to take on the mantle as the leader of the back four at the Emirates Stadium, Senderos believes he can continue to work well as the quieter partner.
The 21-year-old Gunner accepts everyone must prove themselves to boss Arsene Wenger ahead of the season opener against Aston Villa on Saturday, but knows he faces stiff competition from Frenchman Pascal Cygan and his fellow Swiss youngster Johan Djourou.
"Obviously Sol has left, but we do not know [who may come in] because the transfer market is not finished - and we have got other quality players at the club, so we all have to fight to get a place," Senderos explained.
"There is competition, but this is a bunch of good guys and we will fight for our places, so that is positive for the team.
"I knew this year was going to be the year I was going to have to step up and have more games.
"I played in the Champions League and that was great for my improvement.
"I want to continue that way and that is why I'm working hard already in the gym to get back and have more games than last year, and to improve even more."
Arsenal have already returned to competitive action, beating Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier last week, and with the World Cup players still to return to action, the future looks bright for The Gunners.
But with the future of full back Ashley Cole and winger Jose Antonio Reyes still looking likely to be away from North London, the Gunners will be pleased to hear such commitment from Senderos.