Former Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy believes Marcus Bontempelli should be unleashed as a permanent forward in 2019.
The Bulldogs have a deep midfield, but may lack goal kicking options up forward, especially with Tom Boyd on the shelf for two months with a back injury.
Murphy feels Bontempelli going forward could be the club’s “secret ingredient” and put them in finals contention.
“I know David King was on with Gerard Whateley earlier in the week talking about the forward line, I’ve got the secret ingredient for Luke Beveridge and the Bulldogs,” Murphy told SEN Breakfast.
“I can’t get them into my top eight, but if they put Marcus Bontempelli as a permanent centre half forward, that might be the difference.
“It might be a sacrifice of best and fairests and a potential Brownlow Medal, but I’ve watched enough of his football, I think he could be an All-Australian centre half forward.
“The Bulldogs, a lot of their leaders are in the midfield or heavily in the backline and the forward line needs a central permanent figure.
“The forward line needs an anchor point who is a leader of the team. He plays like a natural forward when he is down there.
“I think the way that would appeal to him would be, you’ve proven yourself to be one of the top midfielders in the game, to then add being one of the best key forwards in the competition would be a real feather in his cap.”
Essendon premiership player Tim Watson feels Bontempelli could be used in a similar way to Fremantle legend Matthew Pavlich.
“Matthew Pavlich started the same way. As a midfielder who went forward and then went back when he was needed as well,” he said.
Former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon completely agrees with Murphy’s idea.
“I’ve been going with this for a while. I love it,” Lyon said.
“I watched a game last year and every time he went forward, something happened.
“Whether or not you can afford or not afford to play him there is the question.”
Bontempelli kicked 22 goals last year from 19 games and has averaged a goal per game almost every year of his career.