If you got two guesses at who’d receive the most contract scrutiny at the start of 2017, you’d probably have said Dustin Martin and Nathan Fyfe without a hesitation.
But after a season of elite form and a few months in the spotlight, Josh Kelly has overtaken both of them.
With Fyfe re-signing and Martin looking likely to remain loyal to the Tigers, Kelly is now the hottest midfield property on the market – and rightly so.
The 22-year-old has quickly established himself as an elite midfielder, and will probably find himself in the All Australian side this season.
While Kelly is probably more likely to remain at the Giants, the amount of money being tossed in his direction would be enough to have anyone weighing up their options.
North Melbourne reportedly has $15 million dollars to spend, while clubs like St Kilda and Carlton also have the room to make Kelly a very wealthy man.
The Victorian born midfielder has only missed 12 games of footy in his first four years at the Giants, which has accelerated his rise through the ranks.
Kelly has averaged 29 disposals, six tackles and almost a goal a game so far this season and arguably hasn’t had a bad match.
His form has put him among those in contention for the Brownlow Medal and that means it’s going to take a big trade to appease the Giants.
But given you could be receiving an A-grade midfielder who is still at the start of his career, it’d definitely be worth the sacrifice.
Why he stays
The Giants have been crippled by injuries this year, but there’s no doubt they’re in the beginnings of an extended premiership window.
You couldn’t blame Kelly for turning down extra coin to stay and be a key player for the Giants going forward.
On top of that, Kelly appears to be a loyal kind of guy and might be as simple as that.
It’s currently rumoured GWS has a two year contract in front of him, which means he could quite easily stay and reassess in a few years – he’ll still only be 24.
Why he goes
Considering among front-runners for Kelly are North Melbourne and Carlton, immediate success would not be a factor in the move.
Instead, it would be a crazy deal for all of the money in the world over five to nine years that pries him out of GWS.
Kelly is also a Victorian and might want to come home… to his brand new solid gold house in Brighton where Brad Scott has posted a sign saying “don’t forget, you’re here forever”.