​Former Arsenal forward John Hartson has claimed that manager Unai Emery has exceeded all expectations after taking over the reins from Arsene Wenger, believing that fans would be delighted with what he has done.

Wenger resigned after two consecutive seasons out of the Champions League and the club hierarchy hired Emery with the target of getting the club back to Europe's top club competition as soon as possible.

With Arsenal currently in fourth place and in the Europa League quarter-finals, Hartson has said that Emery has done a great job despite following an icon such as Wenger.

Hartson told BT Sport: “Well they’re in the quarter-final of the Europa League, where they’ve got an opportunity, if they do win it, of getting in the Champions League. They’re in prime position, it’s in their own hands in terms of they’re currently fourth. So it’s in their own hands in terms of qualifying for the top four.

“Who would have thought it at the start of the season with replacing Arsene Wenger? Yes, he came in and had a great career in terms of what he did at Sevilla. But I think the Arsenal fans will be delighted with the job he’s doing right now.”

Arsenal have an easier run in compared with their rivals and would ideally be looking to secure a spot in next season's Champions League via the league route. They play Napoli in the Europa League quarter-finals, which would be a bigger task at the moment, even if Emery may have the tactical nous to trump over the Italians.