AFL Rd 2 - Sydney v Essendon
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 14: Zach Merrett of the Bombers marks during the round 2 AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Essendon Bombers at Sydney Cricket Ground on June 14, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Essendon star Zach Merrett has confirmed he will be donning the sash in 2021, putting ongoing speculation surrounding his future to bed.

Merrett reaffirmed his position with the club in an interview with afl.com.au.

“I’ll be playing at Essendon next year. That’s as clear as it will be,” he told AFL.com.au.

“I’m very much committed to playing at Essendon next year and I’m confident that with the players we’ve got and the coaches we’ve got at the moment we can turn it around reasonably quickly and get back up the ladder.”

Many believed Merrett, like several other Essendon players, was dissatisfied with the club’s direction and was contemplating a departure from Tullamarine.

Instead the Bombers star looks set to stay on with the club, with Essendon set to acquire Giants young gun Jye Caldwell and have expressed interest in Bulldogs midfielder Josh Dunkley.

Speaking on Caldwell, Merrett expressed his excitement in welcoming the youngster to Essendon.

The Bombers are set to lose trio Joe Daniher, Adam Saad and Orazio Fantasia in the upcoming exchange period but will gain a strong hand of draft selections.

“The guys go out with ‘Saady’ and Joey but hopefully we bring in some more talent as well that will be able to cover those spots and hopefully move us up the ladder going forward.”