By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger was pleased to hear David Villa compliment his team but he is not making a move for the Valencia striker.

This week the 26-year-old was quoted as saying Arsenal's attractive style of play made Emirates Stadium his preferred destination. The Spaniard is hot property at the moment with a healthy record of 51 goals in 95 games for his club and 13 in 30 for his country. Despite that, Wenger ruled out a move in the summer.

On the contrary, the Frenchman believes goalscoring has not been a problem for his side this term and his improving young strikers need room to grow.

"We are not in the transfer market for David Villa," said Wenger at his pre-match press conference. "He has said some very complimentary things about us which we take as a big honour. I rate him highly as a player but I will not make concrete investigations for anyone at the moment."

The manager went on: "I feel up front I need to give time to Walcott and Bendtner because they have made big improvement for me this season. Theo is coming on so I need to give them a chance or they will not come out."

In fact, the Arsenal manager argues goal-scoring is not where his side need strengthening. It is more the other end of the pitch that has been his concern.

"We were leading at Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United plus we were leading at home against Liverpool," he said. "So we can score goals. What we could not stop is conceding goals in big games.

"You know that nine times out of 10 the team that wins the big games is the team who scores first. But we lost these games after being in front. We suffered more as a team defensively rather than offensively."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Richard Clarke 18 Apr 2008