AFL Rd 6 - Essendon v North Melbourne
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Adam Saad of the Bombers is tackled by Jasper Pittard of the Kangaroos during the round 6 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Metricon Stadium on July 11, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Although Essendon fans have had time to mull over the 2020 Trade Period, club great Dustin Fletcher has voiced his disappointment at the departure of Adam Saad to Carlton.

Saad, who had been at the Bombers for three seasons after joining from the Suns, requested a trade to the Blues at the end of season 2020.

The 26-year-old half-back flanker is known for his lightning pace and quality, and Fletcher highlighted how big the loss was for the Bombers on SEN Breakfast.

“When you lose a running half-back who’s in your best three in your best and fairest the last three years – that one hurt me – especially going to Carlton.”

Essendon traded Saad, Picks 48 and 78 to Carlton, whilst the Blues sent Picks 8 and 87 in the other direction.

The other outgoings which were especially hard for the Bombers faithful to take were Joe Daniher moving to Brisbane and Orazio Fantasia to the Power.

However, as Fletcher explained, Essendon are in a powerful position heading into the draft, holding Picks 6, 7 and 8, and could set the club up well into the future, using the Hawks as a yardstick.

“Hawthorn had three top picks inside the top 10 which got them (Jarryd) Roughead, (Lance) Franklin and (Jordan) Lewis, so we need to land a couple of really good players with those picks and hopefully they can help us in the future because it’s been a bit of a tough run for the Bombers of late..."

Fletcher pointed to the Bomber's midfield as an area where reinforcement is needed the most.

Although the club picked up young Giant Jye Caldwell in the trade period, they failed to land their apparent main target Josh Dunkley from the Bulldogs.

“I think we need an inside midfielder or a bull of a mid, just to get the ball out to some of these running guys.

“Because I think that’s an area that we need to improve our midfield.”