MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 27: Joe Daniher of the Bombers celebrates after kicking a goal during the round 23 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Carlton Blues at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 27, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Melbourne will head back to the drawing board in the coming weeks after missing out on a top-eight placing as the Bulldogs secured the last remaining spot for the upcoming finals series.

While there were clear improvements on their 2019 season, the Demons will look to add a number of players to their list in hope of breaking the finals barrier in 2021.

Port Adelaide champion and controversial football analyst Kane Cornes has listed three players the Demons should look to acquire in the upcoming free agency and trade windows.

Cornes named Essendon duo Joe Daniher and Cale Hooker along with departing Kangaroo Ben Brown as the possible key position targets that would lift Melbourne into serious contenders.

“I’m looking at Melbourne and how do they get better,” Cornes said on SEN’s Whateley.

“It comes back to how the Dees see themselves and they see themselves as a top four side, let’s not mistake ourselves here.

“(Recruiting) Adam Tomlinson, Steven May, Ed Langdon and Jake Lever in recent times, they see themselves as a top four side. If they still believe in that, and I think for Simon Goodwin they need to at least win a final next year to keep his job, they’ve got to go hard in this trade period.

“Look at their goal scorers for the last two years … (Sam) Weideman is the only tall target who has done anything in front of goals in the last two seasons with 30.

“If you think you’re in the mix, go and get a forward. It may be Cale Hooker and you play him forward for a year to develop Luke Jackson underneath.

“I think they need a stop-gap, whether it’s Ben Brown, Joe Daniher or Cale Hooker – they need a forward and it should be their first priority this trade period.

“I don’t want to hear about (them being linked) to a running half-back like Adam Saad, go and get a forward if you think you’re in the mix.”

Agile Demons forward Bailey Fritsch led the club’s goal-kicking with 22 for the season, edging out Sam Weideman (19) for the honours.