Season 2022 hasn't started according to plan for Luke Beveridge and the Bulldogs, with his side sitting at three wins from eight.

The need for a key backman has become a clear priority at the Kennel, which has now lost Tim O'Brien to another soft tissue injury after his arrival from Hawthorn last year.

Despite having only conceded over 100 points on one occasion this year, the Dogs have allowed key forwards in Charlie Curnow (five goals), Harry McKay (four), Tom Lynch (four), Nick Larkey (four) and Peter Wright (four) to enjoy days out against their defence.

Alex Keath will now come into the side after overcoming a hamstring problem, but a more primed defender will be sought after for next year.

The Dogs face the challenge of finding a suitable candidate to bolster a backline left exposed by its declined reliance on midfielders falling back to support.

According to The Herald Sun, the Western Bulldogs have entered the market for a key defender to aid Keath in defence, browsing the league for a strong-bodied key backman to bolster its back line for next season.

The league has plenty to offer, with out-of-contract Docker Griffin Logue a standout option.

It's believed that Victorian clubs are chasing the defender, trying to lure the 24-year-old east.

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The fight for Logue looms as a battle though, especially after re-establishing himself as a key pillar in the Fremantle defence.

Looking around the market of out-of-contract players and free agents, several names stand out.

Out-of-contract Lions free agent Darcy Gardiner could be a ready-made option for the Dogs, while his teammate Dan McStay could be an option should the Dogs look to utilise a spearhead in their backline and work in tandem with swingman Aaron Naughton.

Tiger Ben Miller is another off-contract, with the 22-year-old impressing at Punt Road but remaining behind in the pecking order given the ranks of Dylan Grimes, Nathan Broad, Noah Balta, Robbie Tarrant and Josh Gibcus.

What will complicate things is the salary cap squeeze at Whitten Oval, with the Dogs still yet to re-sign a chunk of stars like Bailey Smith, Tim English, Josh Dunkley, Bailey Dale Jason Johannisen and Caleb Daniel.

English is understood to be nearing a new deal at Whitten Oval, and would demand a hefty fee in his upcoming contract given anticipated interest from West Coast.