Arsene Wenger has confirmed Denilson is set to start the season in the Arsenal midfield with Abou Diaby out for around a month.
Following the departures of Mathieu Flamini and Gilberto, Diaby was firm favourite to start alongside Cesc Fabregas in the centre.
However, Diaby has suffered a thigh injury which leaves Wenger with little option other than to field the young Brazilian.
"Diaby will not be available for the start of the season," admitted Wenger.
"So we will have to work on some things which I saw on Friday night [against Ajax]. It worked well with Denilson and Fabregas.
"You cannot say after just one match, you need a run of games to see if it
[the partnership] will work, but I am confident it will."
Despite being just 21, Fabregas looks set to have a huge role to play this year but Wenger warned against putting too much pressure on his influential Spaniard.
"Cesc has worked very hard since he has come back," said Wenger.
"You cannot say he will be at his best, but he will be fit enough.
"To win big trophies makes you more confident and gives you something you can pass on to the team around you.
"At 21 he already has a lot of experience. He is an intelligent boy. But I would not like to put too much pressure on him.
"We know every single player in his area is very important.
"Cesc in midfield is a player now who has maybe more experience than the others."
Wenger admits he is short in midfield and looks set to bring in at least one new face, with the likes of Gokhan Inler, Xabi Alonso and Yaya Toure high on his wanted list.
"We are a body short, but it is not necessarily to play alongside Cesc. He can play alongside anybody," he said.
"We try to find the right player. My target is always to spend the right money on the right player, therefore the timing of your buy is also important as well.
"I do not know yet if it will be with the Swiss or somebody else - but it is
not necessarily the Swiss boy [Inler], though.
"Do not forget we have Diaby, who is not available, and [Alex] Song, who
is at the Olympics, is a very good midfielder.
"We have [Samir] Nasri and [Tomas] Rosicky, who were not in Amsterdam, [Amaury] Bischoff as well, so we have plenty of midfield players."