Arteta had even agreed in principle to return to the club he represented between 2011 and 2016, but a late U-turn saw the club turn to Emery instead as Gazidis proved unable to gather unanimous support for the former midfielder.
These days there are no unknowns on Planet Football - not like back in 1996, when the Evening Standard reacted with bewilderment to the club's appointment of a Frenchman who was working in Japan.
Ex-Gunners captain Mikel Arteta has been heavily linked with succeeding Wenger, whose near-22-year reign ended following the final match of the Premier League campaign at Huddersfield.
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The 46-year-old Emery left Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expired at the end of the season after winning one Ligue 1 title and four domestic cups during his two-season spell in charge.
"He was a leader, has good passion for the game, knows the club and knows what is important at the club", Wenger told BeIn Sports.
"What that means is the PSG manager Unai Emery is now the No 1 choice to be the next Arsenal manager".
Hailing from the Basque region of Spain, Emery, having only managed in his native country, Russia (Spartak Moscow) and France, reportedly doesn't speak much, if any, English.
Despite severe financial problems as players like David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata were sold, Emery led Valencia to third place behind Barcelona and Real Madrid for three consecutive seasons.