When a top notch 25 year old midifielder who can play great footy on the inside and outside comes on the market, it makes sense to jump on the opportunity. As the sharks circled the suddenly available Dylan Shiel, one favourite quickly emerged – Essendon.
Here at HPN, Shiel has a particular favourite to watch since GWS started playing in Canberra in 2011. Out of all of the midfielders currently running around the league, he may be one of the most versatile in terms of the roles he fills, and the level at which he does so.
Even at the most basic level, PAV and PAPLEY show that Shiel has both recently been an All Australian level player and will continue to do so in the years to come. Shiel got off to a slowish start in his career, before his breakout year of 2015, but since 2016 (his first elite full season), he has been a stellar player.
The Shiel deal evolved fast at the end of the trade period, with GWS’s bargaining hand seemingly strengthened by the departure of players throughout the course of the day. By 5pm on Wednesday, GWS were suddenly claiming that they could now afford to keep Shiel, and would do so if an acceptable deal could not be met.
This may have persuaded Essendon to cede to GWS’s demands, which were two first round picks. In return, the Dons also pick up GWS’s future second round pick, right now slated for pick 32.
Essendon will be worrying less about the price, considering Shiel’s clear ability. With last year’s three additions, the Bombers will reckon themselves as a premiership threat, the midfield transitioned from the Watson era into the Shiel one.
For GWS, the midfield is one of the areas where they have a bit of depth to cover the loss of even a player as good as Shiel. Going into 2019, he was maybe GWS’s 4th best midfielder (Ward, Kelly, Coniglio), with players such as Taranto, Hopper, Whitfield and Williams rising fast. GWS likely had to make a call on losing at least one of the top group with free agency looming, and due to timing (and perhaps ability) Shiel was deemed the most expendable.
Only time will tell if GWS chose correctly.
Verdict: Fair trade.
Note: This post is part of a series of posts using a valuation method called Player Approximate Value (PAV) to evaluate trades for fairness and balance. Elsewhere, you can read much more about the method and theory behind PAV and also about PAPLEY, the projection method used to derive expected future PAVs. This method expresses both picks and players in terms of expected future value allowing them to be compared on this common basis.