Carlton is on the cusp of completing the signing of GWS free agent Zac Williams, who is widely tipped to nominate the Blues as his club of choice in the coming days.
Williams, 26, announced on Monday that he was departing the club where he’s played 113 games in eight seasons.
Garry Lyon believes Carlton could be planning to play the talented running defender in midfield, primarily to shoulder some of the burden placed on co-captain Patrick Cripps and young gun Sam Walsh.
Lyon is surprised about the amount of money per season that the Blues were offering Williams and said he wasn’t proven as a potent on-baller just yet.
“(Williams) played a ripping midfield game against Collingwood in the preliminary final last year,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“He had 25 touches, 10 clearances and was absolutely superb but I don’t think he’s proved that he can play in midfield week in, week out.
“I don’t know what the money (they’re paying him) is, Zac Williams for me is a $650,000 player and then I get it, you’ve got to pay more to move someone away from their club.
“But five years at $900,000 (per season)? I probably would’ve left (GWS to take up the offer) as well.”
Lyon said the move to turn Williams into a midfielder wasn’t without its risks but even if it fails, Carlton would still be left with an “outstanding” defender who would be able to fill the void left by the retired Kade Simpson.
“They’re in desperate need of some support in the middle of the ground,” he said.
“Let’s just say it’s a big wedge, to support Patrick Cripps in the middle of the ground they’ve paid a big (price) for a half-back flanker so it’s a risk – but that risk is mitigated because if he doesn’t play midfield he goes back and becomes an outstanding half-back flanker with Kade Simpson retiring.
“There’s no guarantees that he’s going to be a good midfielder.”