Sydney midfielder Tom Mitchell confirms he wants to move to Hawthorn after a career-best AFL season.
Photo Source: AAP
The big question
Tom Mitchell reached his preferred destination, making sure that the Hawks didn't suffer from a Mitchell deficit next season. In return Sydney grabbed Hawthorn's first-round pick (No.14) and improved five positions in the third round. Who came out on top in the trade?
Hanging on to their emerging midfield was always going to be difficult as their salary cap started to bite. Fortunately the Swans have plenty of midfield stars in Josh Kennedy, Kieren Jack, Dan Hannebery and Luke Parker, while Isaac Heeney is starting to emerge as a force. Their depth there is one of the reasons Mitchell was seeking greener pastures in the first place. The key for the Swans was making sure they got a decent price for a quality midfielder, and a first-round pick is sure to land a fairly decent player in a solid draft.
It is highly unlikely that Hawthorn would have been able to draft a player of Mitchell's quality with pick 14. While Sydney originally grabbed him with pick 21 in 2011, that was as a father-son selection. Since making his debut with the Swans the 23-year-old has played 63 games and kicked 38 goals, underlining his ability to work both ways and hurt teams on the scoreboard. He has polled 24 Brownlow votes over his career and is one of the most promising midfielders in the competition.
This is a clear Hawks win. Mitchell is still developing and improving as a player, and he could wear the brown and gold for a decade. With the exits of Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis and Brad Hill, Tom Mitchell will be required to plug some of the gaps and he is perfectly suited to the task. Sydney were not in a position to retain Mitchell given he was not happy with what they were offering financially, while Hawthorn were desperate to get some good news after a shocking start to the trade period and perhaps they should have tried to hold out for more from the Swans.
Who do you think won the Tom Mitchell trade? Have your say in the comments below.
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