The 26-year-old was in Rome to play in the first leg of his team’s Champions League qualifier with Lazio. He played the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win for the Bundesliga outfit, which leaves the tie wide open going in to the second leg in Germany.
Bender has been linked to the Gunners over the past two years, but in recent times the emergence of Francis Coquelin may have made some think that they no longer need him. However, the Frenchman showed his frailties during the North Londoners’ 1-2 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.
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The 24-year-old was lucky to stay on the pitch following a series of rash challenges after he had already been issued a yellow card. This lack of discipline may have caught manager Arsene Wenger’s eye. With the pressure sure to be on as he looks to orchestrate a Premier League title challenge, the 65-year-old can’t afford to have any weaknesses in his team.