AFL trade news 2021: Fremantle analysis, never-ending rebuild, worse next year without Adam Cerra and Rory Lobb, wasting Nat Fyfe

Fremantle might have lost Adam Cerra, and look set to lose Rory Lobb as well, but it’s not all doom and gloom for them, according to dual North Melbourne premiership player David King.

Cerra made his way to Carlton on Thursday and Lobb is being widely reported to be on the verge of a move back to his old club Greater Western Sydney.

The loss of a promising young midfielder and a powerful key forward could be viewed as a setback to a club’s premiership ambitions.

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Grand Final senior reporter Tom Morris said he couldn’t see how Fremantle could think they would be a better team next year if they lost both Cerra and Lobb.

Their champion skipper Nat Fyfe, 30, polled his lowest ever Brownlow total with just three votes in 2021, having previously been the greatest poller in VFL-AFL history.

Cerra granted wish in chaotic trade day | 01:43

King still believes that the Dockers could find themselves contending again within a couple of years, and that Fyfe is every chance to be part of that assault on a flag.

“Pick a block, so 2023 and 2024, and say, ‘That’s where we’re aiming for and if Nat Fyfe’s still playing great footy – fantastic’,” King told Fox Footy’s Trading Day.

“Do you reckon they planned for David Mundy to be playing great footy at 35, three years ago? Things happen, facts change along the way, but I think you’ve got to have your target zone for when you can actually contend for a flag.”

But King warned the Dockers that their “never-ending rebuild” had to come to an end at some point.

“The last two drafts under (former coach) Ross (Lyon) were geared towards rebuilding the midfield and the like,” King said.

“I think at some point they’ve got to get this out of the ground and losing Cerra doesn’t help that.”

Will Michael Walters play in another Grand Final at Freo? (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

However, King was enthused by Fremantle’s acquisition of Gold Coast midfielder Will Brodie on Thursday.

“He’s 23 years of age, he’s a bull inside. He’s not a great runner, he’s not going to be a goalkicker, but he’s a clearance-type player,” he said.

“So life after David Mundy, who’s 35 – they’ve got to look at replacing that type of player, but Cerra is going to be a bit of a loss, and sometimes you don’t know what you’ve lost ‘til it’s gone.”

The Dockers currently have picks six, eight, 19 and 22 at this year’s draft, and look set to use one of those last two picks to snare Geelong speedster Jordan Clark.

Meanwhile, Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph confirmed the prospect of Lobb’s return to the Giants was genuine.

“This is absolutely real. He has some interest from GWS. Fremantle are open to at least exploring what this might look like,” he said.

“He‘s been trying to find a club for a while – more specifically his manager Colin Young has been trying to find a club for him.

“He was linked to the Gold Coast, Gold Coast was interested and then realised that $700,000 a year was too rich. They looked into eastern seaboard clubs and that didn’t happen.

“What has happened is that he has had a medical. I think GWS has looked at Jeremy Finlayson moving on (to Port Adelaide) … so $700,000 a year for the next two years, he’d sign a four-year deal on something like $500,000 or $550,000.”

Cerra granted wish in chaotic trade day | 01:43

Ralph feared that losing Lobb could leave Fremantle vulnerable in attack, especially as their other key forward Matt Taberner has a long history of injuries.

“There is no doubt it would put more pressure on (coach) Justin Longmuir there if all of a sudden Taberner gets injured and he (Lobb) is not there,” Ralph said.

“But clearly if they feel their premiership window is a couple of years down the track, you get a significant pick for him.

“Right now they’ve got picks three, 13 and 53, GWS, so they wouldn’t have a mid-tier pick to give them but potentially a third club might be involved.”