MIDFIELD bull Patrick Cripps wants to become Carlton's answer to Patrick Dangerfield and Dustin Martin and become an impactful forward.

The 22-year-old has already established himself as a star onballer, breaking Western Bulldog Tom Liberatore's record for the most clearances and contested possessions through 50 games.

Dangerfield and Martin are not only two of the game's best ball-winners, but also kicked 45 and 37 goals, respectively, in season 2017.

Statistics reveal that Cripps, despite his 195cm key-position size, has some way to go to join the Brownlow medallists as a dual threat. 

Cripps, whose season was cut short by a broken leg in round 16, and captain Marc Murphy spearhead a young and shallow Blues midfield that lost Bryce Gibbs to Adelaide in the off-season.

"I've been working a lot on my forward craft," Cripps told carltonfc.com.au

"I want to get forward (next) year, and as a side we can become a lot more flexible with the make-up of the team.

"We have a lot of young talent we have to get into the midfield, so I've been working hard on my forward craft." 

He hasn't spent more than 13 per cent of game time as a forward across a season since becoming a Blues regular in the past three years.

Cripps kicked multiple goals only four times in his 59 matches – and never more than two – and is rated a 'poor' goalkicker with a career tally of 23.32 and 14 complete misses.

That scoring accuracy ranks last at Carlton among the top 25 goalkickers between 2014 and 2017.

But Cripps has won 32.7 per cent of his 49 one-on-one marking contests, which ranks 64th of the top 300 one-on-one players and places him 'above average'. 

His effort to win 45 per cent of possession on the 65 times he was targeted inside 50 is only 'average' and 14th of the Blues' top 20 targets in that time.

The other dilemma is whether Carlton can afford to release Cripps from the midfield for longer periods, especially if his forward influence is minimal.

Recruits Matthew Kennedy and Darcy Lang will try to be part of the Blues' onball solution, while more will be expected of Sam Petrevski-Seton and David Cuningham. 

Forward phenom Charlie Curnow may also spend more time there, alongside his brother Ed and Sam Kerridge, who twice won at least 30 disposals this year. 

Top-10 draft picks Paddy Dow and Lochie O'Brien and newcomers Aaron Mullett and Matt Shaw are other options.