St Kilda is reportedly making a play for Dylan Shiel – but is the Essendon on-baller the player the Saints really need?
The Saints’ interest in Shiel, who’s contracted to Essendon for another season, comes amid speculation the club and Essendon are concocting a unique deal that could see the Bombers land an extra first round pick at this year’s draft.
Watch every match of The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Live on Kayo Sports. Starts THU 6 OCT 7:30PM AEDT. Join Kayo now and start streaming instantly >
According to the Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph, the Bombers could offer St Kilda free agent Jade Gresham a big enough deal that would trigger a first-round compensation pick for the Saints, who could then trade that selection back to Essendon for Shiel in a separate deal.
It would help Essendon get Shiel’s remaining salary off its books and, subsequently, increase its salary cap flexibility, considering it’s been linked to two of this year’s biggest free agents: Gresham and North Melbourne’s Ben McKay.
But while the deal looks good for Essendon, how much would Shiel benefit the Saints?
“I feel like this one came out of nowhere,” Herald Sun reporter Lauren Wood told Fox Footy’s Midweek Tackle.
“You talk to people at Moorabbin and they want a top-line midfielder. They’ve got Jack Steele, they’ve got Brad Crouch … but they need that cream.
“I’m just not entirely convinced that it is Dylan Shiel. He’ll be 31 by the time the season starts, ankle issues this year.”
The Saints are also set to land Fremantle winger Liam Henry and Carlton on-baller Paddy Dow, which makes their interest in Shiel more curious.
“Here’s what I think: Jade Gresham goes from St Kilda to Essendon as a free agent,” Herald Sun reporter Jay Clark told Fox Footy.
“The Bombers pay him a fair amount of coin to probably get St Kilda a first-round compensation pick. So maybe they can do Essendon a favour going the other way around.
“But the only thing is, because Shiel is 30 – I get that St Kilda’s midfield is a bit vanilla and a bit plodding and one-paced.
“So the thing with Shiel is he can come out the front of the stoppages. Brad Crouch and Jack Steele, they’re not coming out of the front of the stoppage.
“But isn’t that what they’re getting Paddy Dow for?”
Warning for Goldy amid Pies link
Collingwood’s link to Todd Goldstein also raised the eyebrows of the Midweek Tackle panel.
The Magpies this week have emerged as a genuine contender for outgoing North Melbourne ruck Goldstein, who last week told the Kangaroos of his intention to look for a new club after playing 315 games across 17 seasons.
Goldstein had previously been linked to Essendon, but the Magpies and St Kilda have emerged as other possible rival suitors.
The Pies, who traded Brodie Grundy to Melbourne 12 months ago, swung Billy Frampton into the ruck at times this year when Mason Cox and Darcy Cameron were sidelined through injury.
But Herald Sun reporter Scott Gullan cautioned the Pies against strongly pursuing Goldstein during this exchange with host Jay Clark.
Scott Gullan: Can you explain Collingwood to me please? Cox, Cameron …
Jay Clark: They (the Pies rucks) went down earlier in the year and they had to ruck Dan McStay.
SG: But that happened once.
JC: You think he (Goldstein) is surplus to requirements?
SG: Well, he plays VFL if he goes to Collingwood.
JC: He could win a flag potentially at Collingwood, but he would be relying on injuries. But at Essendon, they play two ruckmen – and Sam Draper now with his injury might not even be there for Round 1. Todd Goldstein could be the No. 1 ruckman for Essendon in Round 1.
SG: I’ve got two words for you: Braydon Preuss. Don’t be Braydon Preuss. Pick the right club.
Hawks eyeing 2024 crop?
Hawthorn for weeks has loomed as one of this year’s big trade players, linked to an array of players from rival clubs.
But not too many of those players have officially nominated the Hawks as their preferred destination so far
Geelong’s Esava Ratugolea, North Melbourne’s Ben McKay, St Kilda’s Jade Gresham and Fremantle’s Liam Henry have all attracted interest from Hawthorn, but all four are set to land at other clubs for the 2024 season.
The Hawks are also set to lose Tyler Brockman to West Coast and Jacob Koschitzke to Richmond.
Hawthorn isn’t done with yet in this trade period, with the club one of four teams in the race for contracted Sun Mabior Chol — who’s also been linked to North Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane — while Essendon’s Massimo D’Ambrosio has already requested a move to Waverley Park.
But Jay Clark believes the Hawks are keeping a close eye on the crop of key forwards off contract at the end of next year – a group of players headlined by Gold Coast star Ben King
“I reckon they’ll be all chips in to Ben King … and I think Collingwood might be in the race for him as well,” Clark told Fox Footy.
As well as King, Port Adelaide’s Todd Marshall and Bulldogs duo Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Aaron Naughton are all on contracts set to expire at the end of next season.
“They’ve missed out, but I still think they’ll be a far better team next year,” Herald Sun reporter Sam Landsberger told Midweek Tackle.
“Next year, there’s all these key forwards out of contract. Can they wrangle one next year?”
Originally published as St Kilda’s Dylan Shiel interest explained as AFL trade talk intensifies