The stat that shows Essendon fans shouldn’t be too concerned about Zerk-Thatcher loss

Campbell Brown doesn’t think Essendon supporters need to be too upset about Brandon Zerk-Thatcher requesting a trade to Port Adelaide.

Zerk-Thatcher officially requested the move earlier this week after coming out of contract with Essendon.

While the 25-year-old played 22 games for Essendon in 2023 and became a member of the club’s best side, Brown doesn’t believe his loss is going to hurt much.

Brown pointed to a statistic that shows Zerk-Thatcher could be replaceable.

“Any Essendon supporters out there don’t think I’m having a go at your club,” Brown said on SEN Track.

“I’m just gonna state some facts. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, I think is quite a pretty good defender, a third tall type of defender down back.

“(Jayden) Laverde probably gets the main forward, and then you’ve got your floaters.

“He (Zerk-Thatcher) has requested to be traded to Port Adelaide.

“But the most goals conceded by any defender this year is Brandon Zerk-Thatcher with 53. That’s four more than any other player in the AFL.

“Alex Pearce had 49 (kicked on him), Charlie Ballard 48, Sam Collins 47 and Noah Balta 45.

“All of those guys played 23 games. Brandon only played 22.

“So don’t get too upset Essendon supporters. That’s all I’ll say.”

Essendon great Tim Watson is another figure who rates Zerk-Thatcher.

Despite believing the 51-gamer is a quality AFL tall, Watson doesn’t believe he would be a lock for a key position spot even if he stayed at Tullamarine.

The thing that hurts the Bombers if he does depart is their lack of depth in the role that he plays already.

“I think he’s good,” Watson said on SEN Breakfast.

“I don’t think that he’s had a great stage yet of his footy career where you’d say that he’s a lock for a key position.

“But he played nearly every game this year for Essendon and they’re very skinny in that department.

“They’ve got a problem at the moment if they don’t land Ben McKay.

“They’ve got to try and get Zach Reid rebuilt, he hasn’t been able to play nearly enough.”

Zerk-Thatcher made his debut for Essendon in 2019.

He joins Geelong’s Esava Ratugolea and Western Bulldogs ruckman Jordon Sweet in requesting trades to the Power.

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