AFL trade whispers: Essendon should look at Jonathon Patton after signing key defender Cale Hooker
Jay Clark and Sam Landsberger
ESSENDON needs to find Joe Daniher a co-pilot and should make Jonathon Patton a trade priority.
On the back of Cale Hooker’s long-term commitment it is time for the Bombers to be bold and aggressive.
Patton is signed until 2017 and happy in Sydney — but gettable, possibly even this year given the high percentage of players now traded under contract.
And after recovering from two ACLs the No. 1 draft pick won’t cost the farm, like his mate Tom Boyd.
The Herald Sunrevealed Patton this month purchased a $1.24 million house in Richmond and he might not even wind up in the Giants’ best team, given Rory Lobb’s emergence alongside Jeremy Cameron.
GWS also has a swath of promising academy products on the way, including key-position goalkickers. Scary stuff.
Patton’s parents are friends with Bombers list manager Adrian Dodoro while Essendon innovation manager Kevin Sheedy coached him for two seasons at Greater Western Sydney.
Faced with a similar forward conundrum last year, Melbourne aggressively secured a second top-10 pick and landed spearhead Sam Weideman to partner Hogan.
The top of this year’s draft class is filled with midfielders, so the Bombers will need to think laterally if they want to beef up their failing forward line.
If not Patton, Jack Martin is a name which should be on Dodoro’s whiteboard.
Martin grew up a Bombers man and is coming on at a rate of knots this year, his ball use and goalsense already in the top bracket.
A mini Michael O’Loughlin, some have mused.
Again, Martin is contracted until 2017 and there are no signs he will leave the Suns — but a player of his quality would eliminate the urgent need to find A-grade midfielders, list expert Chris Pelchen said.
Essendon supporters have been through the ringer the past four years. As the club finally shows signs of emerging through the other side it is time to go all out.