St Kilda’s Jade Gresham is reportedly on the radar of Essendon.
The Age’s Jake Niall is reporting that the Bombers are “in the hunt” for the 26-year-old who is this year a restricted free agent.
Gresham had recently been the subject of interest from Carlton but it is understood that has cooled of late. Now the Dons are in the mix if Gresham opts to depart Moorabbin this trade period.
He has not yet signed a new deal with St Kilda.
If Gresham does decide to nominate Essendon, the Saints can match any offer forthcoming and force a trade.
He is one of a number of St Kilda players who could quite possibly be on the way out this off-season as Ross Lyon goes about improving his list, which could start with Fremantle’s Liam Henry.
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Essendon great Tim Watson is not convinced that Gresham, despite having a decent 2023 season, is the type of player Brad Scott and the Bombers require at this point in time.
“He had a pretty good year. If you look at him being compared to all the other small forwards in the game, he’s either above average or elite in what he actually produced,” Watson said on SEN Breakfast.
“I don’t see him as that answer to Essendon’s small forward problems. I don’t see him as the answer to the midfield. I’d be interested as to what they see him doing and where they see him playing, if they’re that interested in him.
“I don’t see that that’s the type of player that Essendon particularly needs right now. We need competitive, aggressive beasts, bigger-bodied players, we need some more aggression and strength around the ball and the contest. I would see that as a priority for Essendon.
“But it surprised me when I analysed his statistics this year how well they stacked up compared to other small forwards.”
Gresham played 23 games for the Saints this season, averaging 17.6 disposals, 3.4 inside 50s and 3.2 tackles while kicking 21 goals, his best return since 2018 following some injury-plagued campaigns.
The 2015 draftee has played 136 games and kicked 136 goals in red, white and black.