Western Bulldogs cannot afford to let a player of Josh Dunkley’s calibre go, according to Garry Lyon.
It’s been widely reported that Essendon have expressed an interest in Dunkley who is contracted to the Bulldogs until the end of 2022.
The Dogs fell at the elimination final hurdle for the second straight season and Lyon says keeping Dunkley and adding more midfield depth is a must if they are to go deeper in the finals next year.
“Your midfield needs to be deep. You need six, seven, eight midfielders,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.
"(Jackson) Macrae, (Marcus) Bontempelli and (Bailey) Smith might be their preferred starting line-up, but you’ve got (Tom) Liberatore, that is such an integral part of that (midfield), I would have Dunkley as an integral part of that.
“You’ve got to keep building it, you’ve got to keep building deep midfields – look at both of these teams in the Grand Final (Richmond and Geelong).
“From a footy point of view, I don’t think Josh Dunkley would be leaving the Western Bulldogs.”
Dunkley averaged 18 disposals and a tick under six tackles in an injury-interrupted 2020 campaign.
The 23-year-old is a premiership player in 2016 and has notched 78 games for the Dogs.