Kane Cornes says Melbourne could wind up big winners after young gun Luke Jackson demanded a trade back to Western Australia, saying the situation “isn’t a disaster at all”.
Jackson officially requested a trade back to his home state on Tuesday, confirming one of the AFL’s worst-kept secrets following a lengthy exit interview.
The 2021 Rising Star winner is reportedly set to earn a lucrative deal at his new club, one which could see him paid up to $6.3 million across seven seasons, and Cornes isn’t sure whether he is deserving of such money.
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After a strong season, Jackson struggled in Melbourne’s two finals losses as he found himself held under 10 disposals in both games, and Cornes said the 20-year-old would be “embarrassed” by some of his efforts.
While Jackson has been linked with his home town team Fremantle, Melbourne has not rule out a potential move to cross-town rivals West Coast, should they be better poised to appease the Demons’ trade demands.
Melbourne stands to potentially receive two first-round selections in exchange for Jackson, who was the No.3 pick in the 2019 draft, and Cornes suggested it was a coup for last year’s premiers.
”He didn’t (handle the scrutiny). He was quite poor and he’d be embarrassed by some of those physical efforts. You get found out in finals,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“For a player that hasn’t done a whole lot, we speak about him a whole lot. He plays one good game in every 12 I reckon.
“I actually don’t think it’s the worst thing for Melbourne because what you’re going to get back is two first-round draft picks, so you sure up your future.
“You get Brodie Grundy in with Collingwood paying a large chunk of his wage, and he’s a much better player than Luke Jackson is. If they get their drafting right with the picks they get for Jackson, this isn’t a disaster at all. I’m still not sure and not convinced he’s a 250-game AFL player.
Melbourne is widely expected to chase the two-time All-Australian ruckman Grundy to fill the void left by Jackson this summer, with the club’s football manager Alan Richardson suggesting as much on Tuesday.
“I’m not going to get caught up in specifics, particularly for players that are still contracted,” he told reporters.
“We’ll look to replace both the talent and the position (of Jackson).”
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