Richmond assistant coach Adam Kingsley says Jack Graham is a player the club is determined to keep.
The 22-year-old midfielder’s name is being mentioned in trade circles with the Adelaide Crows touted as a possibility while Essendon and Carlton have also been linked.
However, Kingsley says the 2017 premiership Tiger, who is out of contract this year, is someone the reigning premiers are keen to re-sign.
Graham was dropped prior to Round 9 but returned to the side in Round 12 and has been one of Richmond’s best players since, highlighting his importance to the team.
“It has been (difficult) early but he came back in a month ago and has performed really well,” Kingsley said on SEN SA Breakfast.
“He’s probably playing his best footy. He’s put his best block of footy together, I think, since he’s been here.
“We’ve been really happy with him. I’d imagine there are numerous clubs who are pretty keen to get his services but it goes without saying that we’re really keen to keep him.
“We think he’s a really important player. We’ve got a couple of midfielders who are moving towards the end of their careers so he’s the obvious one who we want to try and keep.
“We see him replacing them and being a long-term player for us.”
Further regarding the midfield, the Tigers will welcome two-time premiership player Shane Edwards back into the fold for Saturday’s clash with the Crows.
Edwards came through the quarantine hub and linked up with the squad this week having spent the past few months in Melbourne for the birth of his daughter Mya.
“He’ll play. Shane is a high-quality player in our best 22,” Kingsley added.
“He’s prepared really well. He spent a couple of weeks in quarantine training with Gary Ablett and (Dan) Hannebery and a few others.
“He’s fit, he’s strong, so he’ll play and we’ll see how he goes.”
With Edwards coming in, it gives Richmond a chance to rest Shai Bolton who is nursing a corked calf. He is expected to go out of the side along with Ivan Soldo (ACL) and Tom Lynch (hamstring) with Mabior Chol and perhaps Josh Caddy the replacements.
Defender David Astbury could also be set to return to senior footy.
The Tigers must beat the in-form Crows at the Adelaide Oval in their final home-and-away fixture if they are to secure a third-placed finish.