Gold Coast’s Izak Rankine seeks trade to Adelaide

Gold Coast’s Izak Rankine has officially sought a trade to Adelaide as the South Australian confirmed his desire to return home.

The exciting small forward was lured by a potential big-money long-term deal offer, Suns said on Tuesday.

Herald Suns Jon Ralph reported a five-year offer worth up to $850,000 per season that would make Rankine the highest-paid player in the Crows.

Craig Cameron, Gold Coast GM of Player Talent and Strategy, announced his disappointment at the 22-year-old’s desire to leave the Suns.

“We have created a football club where our players and staff are committed to success, so we are disappointed in his decision,” said Cameron.

“We have provided Izak with an environment and support network since his call-up to help him play his best football and it is disappointing that the journey will not continue.”

Rankine has scored 29 goals in 18 games while averaging 13 disposals and a goal per game.

The Suns improved dramatically in 2022 under coach Stuart Dew, with acquisitions of Mabior Chol and Levi Casboult making key closures.

Dew’s men finished the season with 10 wins – the best in their existence – and appear to be on the rise as the club seeks to reach the final for the first time.

Should the deal go through, Rankine could join Riley Thilthorpe, Darcy Fogarty, Josh Rachele, Shane McAdam and Taylor Walker in 2023, making the Adelaide forward line look even more dangerous.

What does Rankine’s departure mean for the Gold Coast?

The 22-year-old’s decision to request a trade back to his home state could affect many aspects of the trade, starting with what the Crows may have to part with to lure the South Australian.

However, the hole the small forward appears to be leaving at the Suns could be difficult to fill as not many likely candidates can replace Rankine.

Malcolm Rosas Jnr has jumped into the senior squad in recent years and has previously struggled to cement his place in the squad.

Ben Ainsworth continues to improve but needs to take on more responsibility up front, apply more pressure and hit the scoreboard frequently to make up for the loss of Rankine.

Nick Holman (27) was operational under Dew, playing 20 games in 2022 but only managing to kick 16 majors as a half-forward.

Alex Sexton, 28, has also fallen out of favor with the Suns despite his uncanny ability to hit the scoreboard.

In Rankine’s absence, Sexton scored six goals in the final round of the 2022 season, despite it being his third game of the year.

Though Ben King hasn’t played since 2021 due to an ACL injury, Gold Coast needs small forwards at the bottom of their talls, which Rankine did brilliantly.

Whether it’s a draft or a trade from rival clubs, the Suns have many options to explore in order to back both Chol and King.

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What does Rankine’s arrival mean for the Crows?

The addition of Rankine to Matthew Nicks’ team could spell trouble for opposing sides as the Crows begin to recover after a disappointing relegation following the 2017 Grand Final defeat.

The Sun would join the already developing forward line made up of some superb young talent and only push their improvement in the front half.

Adelaide’s forward problems have been their consistency as small forwards, with James Rowe, Ned McHenry, Shane McAdam and Rachele coming in and out of the team, with the latter struggling with injury.

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Rankine would add another level to the Crows’ lineup and could be a match winner for the club he grew up with.

He also has the ability to roll through midfield in spurts and break up the game.

The only contentious question that remains is what Adelaide will have to give up for third pick in the 2018 draft.

As it stands, the Crows have picks 4 and 22, which could drop even further due to father-son and academy picks that are bound to happen.

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