Andy Johnson is not a diver, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Everton striker has a knack of winning spot-kicks but the Arsenal manager believes that is down to his style of play rather than any intent to feign a foul.

"For me he does not look like a cheat," said Wenger ahead of the Toffeemen's trip to Emirates Stadium on Saturday. "I feel he gets penalties because he genuinely goes for it and sometimes he collides.

"Out of 10 he gets, eight look genuine ones to me and maybe one or two he makes a bit more of it.

"Overall I don't think he is playing like the guy who just goes for the penalties. I think it is just a consequence of his game. He likes to get in front of the defender and sometimes he loses his balance."

Wenger has been a fan of the diminutive forward since he burst on the Premiership scene with Crystal Palace a few years ago. However he was never truly tempted to make a bid.

"I feel he made a mistake maybe to stay one more year in Division One," said Wenger. "But now he is showing how good he is.

"I always liked his work-rate, the timing of his runs, the fact he wants to go behind defenders and simply the fact he scores goals.

"I thought about [bidding for him] but he was not really available before and this year I have enough strikers.

"We've got Henry, Adebayor, Aliadiere, Baptista, Van Persie and Walcott. That is why I said we would not buy in January. It is because we have the needed number."

17/2 - Alexander Hleb opens the scoring against Everton

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27 Oct 2006