Jon Ralph believes the Western Bulldogs should be open to trade offers for every single player on their list apart from young star Marcus Bontempelli, believing Jake Stringer could be tempting trade bait for a host of teams.
The Bulldogs seem set to become the first reigning premiers to miss the finalssince Hawthorn in 2009, relying on results from three other games to go their way this weekend if they are to stand any chance of featuring in September.
Ralph believes that it is pivotal that to Dogs look to heavily change their list up over the coming pre-season, rather than hope their 2017 was an “off” year.
The Herald Sun journalist believes the key area the Bulldogs must bolster up in is their key defenders, and with Jake Lever reportedly ruling out the premiers as a new destination, he believes the Dogs must go to extreme lengths to make the Adelaide young gun change his mind.
“I just keep coming back to what they have at their disposal. What is there for trade bait? They’ll be desperate to try and get another key position defender,” Ralph told SEN’s The Run Home.
“I think the Dogs would be derelict in their duty if they didn’t think all players apart from Marcus Bontempelli are tradeable.
“There’s not a single line they didn’t have issues with this year. The key backs, the half-backs, the ruckmen and their midfielders. The worst possible thing to say is ‘You know what, it was just an aberration. We’ll bounce back and we’ll be top four again next year.’
“It’s going to be fascinating how they get that key position defender in.”
Ralph has touted out-of-form forward Jake Stringer as a potential lure that many opposition clubs may jump on.
“Jake Stringer is going to be one out there that people are going to say ‘oh could he be a game changer for us?’ he said.
“I’m not saying you throw him out there and actively try and shop him, but I just think it’s that kind of off-season where Luke Beveridge has to say to himself ‘OK, if someone wants to offer up a heap more for one of our players than we think he is valued at, then we pull the trigger.’
“I just keep thinking about Jake Stringer. Is Jake Stringer a superstar who was just this one-year wonder or is he going through some 23-year-old heartburn, some off-field issues and about to explode again?”
The Bulldogs take on Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, with a win a necessity if they are to keep their dream of a second consecutive premiership alive.