The Saints took a major step in breaking their premiership drought in 2020 after making the top eight for the first time in nine years while adding a finals victory against the Bulldogs.

While the club is set to gain Brad Crouch as the Crows star exercises his free agency rights, Kane Cornes believes the Saints should hold off on bringing in the Adelaide midfielder and hold out for a bigger name in 12 months time.

Speaking on AFL Trade Radio’s Early Trade, Cornes named the seven players the Saints should target instead.

“There are some stars coming out of contract at the end of next year – and we’re talking the best midfielders in the game,” Cornes told AFL Trade Radio’s The Early Trade.

“I’m going to rank the players coming out of contract that the Saints would have been better served at having a real crack at in 12 months’ time as opposed to rushing into Brad Crouch.”

6. Zach Merrett (Essendon)

“I think he’s a better fit for the Saints with his ability to use the ball, for the model citizen that he is, the example that he sets.”

AFL Rd 13 - Essendon v Richmond
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 22: Zach Merrett of the Bombers kicks the ball during the round 13 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Richmond Tigers at TIO Stadium on August 22, 2020 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)