Unai Emery can be a success at Arsenal but it may take him up to four seasons to move the club forwards, according to Claudio Ranieri.
Emery is set to be appointed as Arsene Wenger’s successor, Press Association Sport understands.
The 46-year-old left French side Paris St Germain at the end of their campaign following a two-year stint during which he won one Ligue 1 title and four domestic cups.
Previously, Emery led Sevilla to three successive Europa League trophies – a proven track record which appears to have proved crucial in him emerging as the preferred candidate ahead of former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta for the Emirates Stadium job.
The Gunners have been seeking their first boss since hiring Wenger in 1996, with an official announcement expected later this week.
Ranieri managed Leicester to a memorable Premier League title success in 2015–16 and feels Emery has the strength of character needed to make an impact at Arsenal – provided he is given enough time.
“Unai is a good man and a good coach. He managed for a lot of years in Spain,” said Ranieri, who left Nantes last week and includes Chelsea, Juventus and Monaco among his former teams.
“He made a very good season in Paris St Germain – but you know in Paris you have to win the Champions League, and only the Champions League, that is the target there.”
The Italian added on Sky Sports News: “I think now maybe they (the new Arsenal boss) need three (or) four years to stay calm and then restart, but football is fantastic because you never know what could happen.
“Unai is a very strong man, a good manager and I think he could have very good success there.”
Former Arsenal midfielder Arteta, currently part of Pep Guardiola’s staff at Manchester City, had been heavily rumoured to be the leading candidate – and Wenger said last week the Spaniard “has all the qualities to do the job”.
Arteta, Luis Enrique and Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri were among those strongly linked, and Emery had only been seen as an outside bet with bookmakers since Wenger’s departure was first confirmed last month.
Press Association Sport understands Arsenal conducted in-depth interviews with several candidates from a long list of potential managers.
Their new boss will need to work alongside head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat. It had been suggested Arteta was concerned with just what level of control the incoming new head coach would have in the structure.
However, it is believed no one pulled out of the race and the Gunners have settled on their preferred choice.
Emery has worked in such models previously, enjoying great success at Sevilla with sporting director Monchi, who is now at Roma.
News of Emery’s possible appointment came late on Monday, not long after Wenger was pictured waving goodbye as he left the club’s Hertfordshire training complex.
The 68-year-old Wenger is expected to make a decision on his own future before the World Cup, where the veteran coach will be working as a pundit for French television.