Essendon great Matthew Lloyd has urged the club to trade injured forward Joe Daniher, amid reports that the Brisbane Lions are interested in the former All-Australian.
Daniher has played just 11 games in three seasons since a breakout 2017 season where he kicked a career-best 65 goals, and still appears weeks away from an AFL return this season.
According to The Age, despite Daniher’s injury concerns, the Brisbane Lions are interested in acquiring the 26-year-old this summer, with the hope that he can fill the club’s void up forward.
Both Brisbane and Daniher’s current club, Essendon, are waiting to see if he is able to get on the park in 2020, before offering him a deal of any sort, but Lloyd suggested that it may be time to cut bait.
“If Joe’s heart still isn’t in it, do not have him any longer,” Lloyd told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“Move him on because you don’t want a player that does not want to be at your footy club. I think the time has come to let Joe go and play somewhere else.”
Daniher submitted a trade request to be dealt to the Sydney Swans, but was stuck at Essendon after the two clubs failed to reach an agreement on a trade, despite the Swans offering two first-round picks for the wantaway forward.
Daniher is a restricted free-agent at the end of this season, meaning that Essendon can match any rival contract offer and force a side into the trade.
Lloyd conceded that a move for Daniher made sense for a Brisbane point of view, given the lack of a first-choice forward at the club.
“I can understand it from Brisbane’s perspective because I think it’s what’s going to hurt them in winning the premiership this year,” he said.
“(Eric) Hipwood is a good player, but I don’t think he’s a number one forward, (Daniel) McStay is not a number one forward, so Daniher would be unbelievable there.”
News of the Lions’ interest in Daniher comes as reports suggested that his return may not be too far away.
According to Fox Sports, Daniher is set to appear in a scratch match for Essendon next weekend, with his recovery set to largely determine if he is able to play in an AFL match this season.