Emery was sacked by Arsenal back in November 2019 after a poor run of form and only 18 months in charge.
The former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss was replaced by compatriot Arteta, who has been praising his predecessor ahead of their clash in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Arsenal have drawn Villarreal, Emery’s new side, in the semi-finals, with the first leg taking place in Spain.
And ahead of that tie, Arteta has praised Emery for the work he did while in charge at Emirates Stadium.
“I know a lot of people who work with him, people who have been around him,” said Arteta.
“They all say the same thing, which is that he’s a fantastic man, a great manager. But they highlight the man behind it is as well, who he is and that situation.
“It didn’t work for him [at Arsenal], he did a lot of good things at the club. In the time he had here he reached a European final, he put a team which was competing for a Champions League place and the club decided to take a different route. But he did a lot of good things as well.
“Again, I don’t know the reasons why he was criticised. You ask me about the job he did, what the people at the club said and the players said about him, I can only have good and nice words towards him.”