Facing an uncertain future at West Lakes, Matt Crouch has let his footy do the talking in the past fortnight after learning a reprieve under senior coach Matthew Nicks.

Crouch had managed just the one appearance at AFL level prior to last Sunday's narrow loss to Melbourne, having been tasked with the tactical sub duties in Round 8 during a trip to Kardinia Park.

The loss of Rory Laird for the match against the Demons opened the door for the 2017 Malcolm Blight Medal winner to play his second game since Round 17 last year, having been left to play at the state league level as an over-performing onballer unable to break into Nicks' squad.

Crouch would take his chance against Melbourne on his way to recording 22 possessions, seven clearances and nine tackles in the defeat, but it would be Saturday night's stunning Showdown win that has seen the 28-year-old firm as a key piece in Adelaide's push for top eight finish.

The one-time All-Australian would collect 32 disposals at 90.6% efficiency to go with 12 clearances, six tackles, seven inside 50s, 15 contested possessions and 10 score involvements in the 47-point upset win.

The performance comes as Crouch faces an uncertain future with the Crows, with his contract coming to its end with the cessation of this season. Prior to the result against the Demons, the Beaufort junior's time with Adelaide looked destined to end in 2023.

Whether it be with the Crows or elsewhere, Crouch's two games back in the top flight have shown he remains an AFL-level player, with the inside onballer the first name to gain praise from Nicks after the win over arch-rivals Port Adelaide.

Nicks said Crouch has overcome "challenging circumstances" to find himself back in the AFL side after being left to play at SANFL level for almost all of this year.

"Matty Crouch was huge inside. He brought a harder, stronger body and we needed that on the night," Nicks said.

"It's unquestionable what he's done this year in challenging circumstances where he's an experienced player that wants to play. He's had some guys play ahead of him at times.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: Matt Crouch of the Crows and Jordon Butts look dejected after the loss during the 2022 AFL Round 01 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Fremantle Dockers at Adelaide Oval on March 20, 2022 In Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"For Matty it's hard. He's done outstandingly well. He's worked with younger guys in the SANFL and played at the level every week and said 'I'm ready to play'.

"When the opportunity showed itself he's now stood up two weeks in a row and shown that although the level is a step up from where he's been playing, he's been able to adjust automatically."

Crouch was murmured to have external interest on the open market last year after facing a similar situation with his position at the Crows, however no suitor or move eventuated for the contested ball winner.

Demand for big-bodied midfielders has seemingly evaporated over the course of the last few seasons, likely leaving Crouch with a limited number of clubs to have an interest in his signature this year.

Collingwood have managed to find the perfect role for recruit Tom Mitchell this season since acquiring the Brownlow Medal winner from Hawthorn, with Craig McRae's midfield flourishing as a result of Mitchell's first access to the ball.

Club likely looking at similar assets to bolster their respective midfield groups would include Sydney and Geelong, who have both struggled inside this year despite making the grand final in 2022.

Adelaide could now consider retaining Crouch given his value as a reinforcement to Nicks' midfield, with a new deal assumed to come at a cut price compared to his current contract - which was signed during his year of free agency in 2021.

The Crows' season remains alive thanks to the Showdown victory - currently sitting one win away from the top eight with a month left in their campaign. With no midfielder included in Adelaide's casualty ward, Crouch could be a catalyst in their September pursuit as he likely retains his role under Nicks for the coming weeks.