Essendon are often busy each and every trade and free agency window, and 2024 looks set to be no different as the Bombers assess the open market in a bid to strengthen their list.

The Dons had a successful off-season last year, recruiting Ben McKay, Jade Gresham and Todd Goldstein via free agency before swooping on Port Adelaide wingman Xavier Duursma in a trade that saw key defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher head to Alberton.

The club's list changes, coupled with the development of their emerging ranks, have seen Brad Scott's side rise into flag contention - sitting in reaching distance of second place on the ladder.

But still some margin from the summit, how will Essendon utilise this year's player movement space to further craft their flag credentials for the years to come?

We've assessed the list of needs at Essendon and the players the Bombers could target in 2024.



1. Jack Martin

Some front-half fire-power is likely to be high on the list within Essendon's recruitment strategy this year, with small or medium forwards a preference.

The first of several attacking options we've listed as potential trade targets for Essendon to consider, Martin is unlikely to cost the Bombers much draft capital in any trade.

With the Blues also keen to add to their attacking contingent, Martin could be on the outer and would be open to any potential suitor needing some run and spark in the front third.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 09: Jack Martin of the Blues celebrates after scoring a goal during the round nine AFL match between Carlton Blues and Melbourne Demons at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on May 09, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

He comes with some injury concerns, but if the Bombers can get Martin fit and firing, he'd prove to be a bargain recruit who is unlikely to cost much on the trade table or salary.

With Matt Guelfi playing the pressure forward role, Martin can be the damaging ground-level threat who also offers some prowess in the air when required.