PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 26: Michael Walters of the Dockers looks on before kicking a goal during the round 10 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Brisbane Lions at Optus Stadium on May 26, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Despite thriving for the Fremantle Dockers in previous years, Michael Walters has failed to impress this season.

Whilst Walters was at "his All Australian best in a number of games in 2020", the Fremantle veteran has averaged his fewest disposals (13.5) and goals (0.9) since his 2009 debut season.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 07: Nathan Fyfe and Michael Walters of the Dockers look on during the round three AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the St Kilda Saints at Optus Stadium on April 07, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Walters' nine disposals in the Saturday night loss to Carlton was the final straw in the eyes of former Fremantle assistant Peter Sumich, exclaiming that Walters "looks like he left the club when Ross Lyons did two years ago".

On Fox Sports News' AFL Tonight, the former West Coast great continued to question the 30-year-old's role in the team.

"I think Sonny Walters should maybe go back to the reserves and Fremantle should look at some of the younger kids to come in and let Sonny earn his spot again, because at the moment he is not performing," Sumich said.

“He averages 0.8 of a tackle, not even a tackle a game inside forward 50, so as a pressure forward that’s not on. He’s not even kicking a goal a game and that’s a worrying sign".

With Fremantle's finals chances increasingly becoming more slim, Sumich calls for the forward to either return to his preferred midfield role or "be sent to the WAFL to find form".

Yet despite such criticism, can the Fremantle veteran step it for his club during such dire times?

It is no secret that despite some "inconsistent" form throughout the last two seasons that Walters has continued to shine at the Fremantle Dockers.

The veteran made the All-Australian team in 2019 and has a career average of 16.8 disposals and 1.6 goals a game.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 15: Michael Walters of the Dockers celebrates after scoring a goal during the round 13 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Port Adelaide Power at Optus Stadium on June 15, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )

This Saturday's match against Hawthorn is the team's last match against a non top-eight team for this season.

The game is set to be played in Tasmania and remains a much-needed win to increase the Dockers' chances of making the eight.