MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 05: Bombers head coach John Worsfold walks out at at three quarter time during the round three AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 05, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Hawthorn champion Jordan Lewis has stated that departing players from rival clubs are likely to look away from Windy Hill, with the Bombers’ “vision” moving forward being questioned.

Essendon were hoping to have finals football under their belt by the time Ben Rutten took over from John Worsfold at the end of the season, but the club now remain closer to the bottom of the ladder than the top five.

The Bombers will face Melbourne Saturday to conclude their 2020 season, with any result leaving Essendon fans disappointed and questioning where it all went wrong.

To add to the Bombers’ woes, the club currently has a plethora of names yet to commit for 2021, with Lewis believing even rival players won’t want to be joining what could be a sinking ship.

Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Lewis questioned the direction the club was moving.

“Right now, you probably look at Essendon and you don’t know where they’re going because, one, their performance hasn’t been good enough, but also the players that are there that are out of contract that you would think would sign haven’t signed yet.

“If I’m a player at a different club and I go: ‘Adam Saad hasn’t signed at Essendon, there’s a deal on the table – why isn’t he signing? Is he going to be there? There’s a lot of uncertainty, I may have to look for a different club that I think is more stable.’”

Former St Kilda and North Melbourne midfielder Nick Dal Santo believed the Bombers hadn’t made any progression in 2020.

“The reality is – and I think if you ask Bombers fans that would probably know better than anybody because they watch their clubs so closely – to have six wins, to be sitting in 13th position – and yes they’ve had a lot of injuries, as have a lot of football clubs – they haven’t taken a step forward,” Dal Santo told AFL Tonight.

“There is no doubt in my mind the style of football that they’re playing – and they’re about to hand over the coaching role and there will be some list changes as there always is – this club is not in a better position than it was this time last year.

“There were people that were very bullish on them, the talk about this football club from internally was they were going to take some big steps forward. But the players that were lured to that football club in recent years and the story that was presented to them wasn’t about winning six games a year.”