Who Is Unai Emery? Arsene Wenger's Successor at Arsenal Is a Winner and 'Obsessed' by Soccer

Unai Emery during the match between Caen and PSG on May 19. The Spaniard is set to become the new Arsenal manager. Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

Unai Emery is set to become Arsene Wenger's successor at Arsenal, with the club expected to announce the Spaniard as its new manager before the end of the week.

Emery, who left Paris Saint-Germain last month despite having another year on his contract, was a 16-1 outsider as late as Monday to take the job as the Gunners looked set to name Mikel Arteta as their new manager. However, the north Londoners got cold feet at the 11th hour, amid worries that their former captain was too inexperienced to be trusted with such a delicate job.

While Emery enjoyed a largely successful spell at Sevilla and won five trophies in two seasons with PSG, his imminent appointment has left a number of former Arsenal players underwhelmed.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright accused the club of stringing Arteta along, while Wright's former teammate Alan Smith suggested Emery wasn't the bold choice Arsenal's CEO Ivan Gazidis had promised.

"They've gone for the experienced option rather than the left-field," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

"Obviously Mikel Arteta might not have wanted it in the end, but Ivan Gazidis spoke initially about wanting to make a bold and brave appointment.

"I wouldn't describe Emery as that. It's not a safe one."

Whatever the reservations in welcoming him to England, Emery has made a name for himself since he made his managerial debut with Lorca Deportiva in the Spanish third division in 2004.

The 46-year-old, who is not yet fluent in English, has managed in almost 800 matches across six clubs in three very different countries, while Arteta is yet to take charge of a single game.

While his stay in the French capital was brought to a premature end, Emery won all three domestic trophies on offer this season and both domestic cups in his first year at the club.

Failure to win the Champions League ultimately made his position at PSG untenable, particularly as last season PSG failed to defend a 4-0 lead against Barcelona and were thrashed 6-1 in the second leg.

Calamitous as last season's exit from the Champions League was, Emery will bring considerable European pedigree to the Emirates Stadium.

The former midfielder won three consecutive Europa Leagues in his three seasons at Sevilla, during which he became deeply committed to a counter-attacking 4-2-3-1 formation.

Emery also guided a cash-strapped Valencia to three consecutive third place finishes between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons and his ability to work with limited funds undoubtedly played a part in Arsenal's decisions.

According to reports, the Basque Country native will have approximately $67 million plus money generated from sales to spend on players this summer.

In keeping with Wenger's philosophy, Emery has also developed a track record of nurturing young players. At PSG, he turned Adrien Rabiot into one of the best young midfielders in Europe, while Giovani Lo Celso and Presnel Kimpembe earned call-ups to the Argentinian and French national teams respectively after they were given the chance to establish themselves as first team regulars.

During his spell at Valencia, Emery played an integral role in developing Juan Mata and also worked with David Silva, although the latter left for Manchester City halfway through Emery's tenure.

Born into a soccer family—his father and grandfather played as goalkeepers for several clubs in the Spanish second division, while his uncle was a midfielder—Emery is described as meticulous to the point of almost being obsessive.

Emery put on so many videos I ran out of popcorn," former Spain international Joaquín, who worked with Emery at Valencia, was quoted as saying by the Guardian. "He's obsessed by football [soccer], it's practically an illness. "

In that respect, he's not very different from his predecessor.