Since the departure of Gilberto Silva in 2008, defensive midfield has been an area where Arsenal have struggled. The latest hoped-for solution is £26m new signing Lucas Torreira, who looks to have the bite and discipline to be a success. Torreira impressed for Uruguay at the World Cup and will need to hit the ground running against City.
Get the best out of Aubameyang and Lacazette
Arsenal spent more than £100 million on the combined talents of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season, but the challenge is how to find a way of playing them together.
Assuming Unai Emery starts with only one striker then one of the two will have to play nominally wide. Emery must find a system fluid enough to help them both excel.
Minimise off-field distractions
Just when it looked like Arsenal might be able to enjoy a period of post-Wenger serenity, news of Stan Kroenke’s impending takeover shattered the peace.
Added to that is the uncertainty surrounding the future of chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who is weighing up an approach from AC Milan. For Arsenal’s and his own good, Gazidis must make up his mind soon.
Resolve Ramsey contract situation
After spending the last two seasons haggling with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil over new contracts, Arsenal desperately need to tie Aaron Ramsey to a new deal quickly.
Ramsey, 27, is out of contract next summer and to lose him on a free would be a shattering blow.
Mask centre-back weakness
With Laurent Koscielny a long-term injury absentee and Calum Chambers sent out on loan, Arsenal’s centre-back options this season are Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding.
It’s not a quartet that will fill fans with confidence, and Emery will need to apply all his famed attention to detail to mask their collective lack of pace.