Former St Kilda and North Melbourne star Nick Dal Santo has named the Western Bulldogs' midfield stocks as the best in the competition ahead of the 2021 season, per SEN.
Already filled with a sublime balance of power, speed and skill thanks to the likes of Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Josh Dunkley, Bailey Smith, Lachie Hunter and Tom Liberatore, the Bulldogs managed to add former Magpies gun Adam Treloar to their engine room during last year's trade period.
The move sent shockwaves through the league as one of the AFL's already stacked midfield groups added a bonafide star of the game whilst having to give up very little in return.
According to Dal Santo, the Treloar trade sends the Bulldogs' midfield to the top of the competition and expects the club to run riot in 2021.
“I think this is now the best midfield in the competition,” Dal Santo said on SEN Breakfast.
“Treloar, Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Hunter, Smith, Dunkley and ‘Libba’ (Tom Liberatore).
“Obviously only three of four go through at a time and you throw in a couple of wingers, but you tell me a better midfield than that.
“I look at that midfield – exploit the opposition, use your strengths as much as you can, and you make the opposition adjust to you.
“You would love to be able to sit here in nine or 10 months’ time and say our midfield was dominated – we exposed the opposition for their inability to run with us for four quarters.”
The Bulldogs were also able to land Brisbane veteran Stefan Martin to their crop of ruckman, with the 34-year-old set to mentor Tim English in the middle.
Dal Santo stated the addition of Martin will be a a vital asset for the Bulldogs' push for the premiership.
“They’ve also brought in another ruckman in Stef Martin,” Dan Santo said.
“Tim English made some really good steps forward last year. I think his craft as a ruckman was superb.
“You’ve now got the ability to exploit the opposition. You look at Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall and the way they were able to work together and they were the team that beat the Bulldogs last year in the finals. They were able to work together and make it look seamless.
“You would love to sit here in 10 months’ time and say we’ve got a great duo, a great combination in the ruck.”
The Bulldogs finished seventh on the ladder to end last season after falling to St Kilda in the opening week of the finals, with the club now looking to improve on their 10-7 record from 2020.