Off-contract Swan Dylan Stephens has officially requested a trade to North Melbourne ahead of the 2024 AFL season.
Stephens managed just 13 games in 2023, playing in the Swans’ final four of the home and away fixtures before being omitted for finals.
The 5th pick of the 2019 draft has struggled to play consistent footy this year with other midfielders at the club taking John Longmire’s fancy.
Stephens averaged 13.5 disposals a game in 2023, whilst his midfield teammates Errol Gulden, Chad Warner, and Luke Parker were much more impressive.
The 22-year-old has reportedly had his exit meeting with the club, and according to a report from 7News’ Mitch Cleary on Thursday evening, Stephens is keen to head to Arden Street.
Earlier on Thursday, SEN reporter Tom Morris raised the likelihood of the Mildura native landing with the Roos.
“He had his exit meeting yesterday at the Sydney Swans and no trade was requested there,” said Morris.
“He’s still weighing up his options, there’s been a contract offer at the Swans for some time.
“The attraction to Dylan Stephens is that he was pick 5 in 2019. It’s pretty rare that you see a player of that sort of status who is then out of contract four years later and potentially on the move.”
Adelaide had previously been linked with the 22-year-old, but it has since been revealed that the club would not be looking to sign the youngster.
“I can tell you that the Crows are not keen on Dylan Stephens, so he won’t be going to Adelaide. I’m not sure about Port Adelaide,” Morris continued.
“I think the most likely destination for him, if he does request a trade, is North Melbourne. I’m not sure there’s a massive go-home factor for him, it’s more about where he can get senior football and guaranteed games.”
As the Kangaroos are continually on the mend, signing the young midfielder could aid the side in turning things around quickly. The youth at Arden Street is already solid, with George Wardlaw and Harry Sheezel being two clear standouts.
At present, North Melbourne is armed with the 2nd, 16th, 39th, 53rd, 59th and 76th selections of the 2023 AFL Draft in order to complete a trade.