Joe Daniher's AFL trade request has created considerable angst at Essendon, with the Bombers adamant it will not happen.
Club great Matthew Lloyd says Daniher cannot be replaced, while Daniher's former teammate Brendon Goddard has slammed the key forward for how he approached his initial injury rehabilitation.
Goddard says Daniher's request will probably encourage fellow forward Orazio Fantasia to go ahead with his bid for a trade to Port Adelaide.
Daniher was named All-Australian and won the club's best and fairest award two years ago but has only played 11 games over the past two seasons because of ongoing groin problems.
Daniher, who has a year left on his contract, cited lifestyle on Saturday when he confirmed he wants to join Sydney.
But on Monday's opening morning of the trade period, Bombers list manager Adrian Dodoro said they do not plan to do a deal.
"It's our intention to keep Joe - All-Australian centre half-forward, best-and-fairest winner, coming into the peak years," Dodoro said.
"We have expressed to him and his management team we will be doing everything possible to keep him.
Lloyd said in a newspaper column Essendon should only trade Daniher if it means gaining another key forward who can lead their attack.
"Failure to do so would likely see the Bombers treading water again and the finals-winning drought will almost certainly extend to a 16th season," Lloyd said in The Age.
"Essendon cannot go into season 2020 with a forward line led by Shaun McKernan and Mitch Brown. As competitive and honest as they are, they are role players who play secondary roles to the No.1 forward.
"Essendon must play hardball with him and the Swans."
With Daniher injured, Lloyd pointed out Jake Stringer had topped their goalkicking over the past two seasons with only 30 and 33 goals.
Goddard was scathing, saying Daniher owed his teammates and the club.
"The grass is always greener, Joey," Goddard said on RSN927.
"As much as the injuries affected him, I think he could have gone about it in a better way with his rehab, particularly the first time around (last year).
"He may still have been in this situation ... but at the time I didn't think he dedicated himself hard enough to recovering and rehab and give himself the best chance to get up and play.
"That's why it's a bit disappointing."
Fantasia is also weighing up his future, with strong speculation he will seek a trade to Port.
"I think sadly it might make his (Fantasia's) decision a little bit easier," Goddard said of Daniher.
Australian Associated Press