AFL Practice Match - Geelong v Collingwood
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: Nathan Buckley, Senior Coach of the Magpies looks on before the AFL Practice Match between the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies at GMHBA Stadium on February 26, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

On the eve of the 2021 AFL season, Collingwood has again come under the microscope amid what has been a tumultuous off-season.

One of the Magpies' biggest concerns is where Jordan De Goey will play this season, according to former Saints star Leigh Montagna, believing he club is wasting his talent as a midfielder.

De Goey has been slated to play more minutes on ball this year after spending previous years in attack, with a 48-goal season in 2018 being his most effective.

He starred in an on ball role in last Thursday's AAAMI Community Series clash against the Tigers, racking up 27 disposals and booting two goals.

However, Montana believes Nathan Buckley has to keep him in attack given Collingwood's weakness in the front half.

"It (the forward line) is still a concern," he said on Fox Footy'sĀ AFL 360.Ā 

"I don't think Darcy Cameron and Mason Cox are the answer. (Will) Hoskin-Elliott and Jamie Elliott I think have dropped away... they don't have dangerous small forwards.

"He's (De Goey) their X-factor player, I want to see him play that Dustin Martin role in the front half of the ground.

"If they want to get him into stoppages because he's that dynamic player that can break out, let him do it, but they need De Goey in their front half."

Embed from Getty Images

Former Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy has also expressed concerns about Collingwood, questioning their list profile ahead of next week's round one encounter with the Bulldogs.

"I think they're significantly weaker. You look at their list, it's actually quite a surprising profile... It's quite an alarming profile in some respects," he said on 3AW's Sportsday.

"(They've got the) seventh youngest list, eighth least-experienced... Is the Collingwood list unbalanced? You can only have one answer for that and the answer is yes, it is unbalanced.

"They have seven players (over) 30 years of age - that is the most of any club. They have the fourth fewest between 25 and 29 and the second fewest between 21 and 24."

Despite the concerning list profile of the Pies, Healy believes list draws similarities to a side that finished in the top four in 2020.

"It's a list of similar profile to Port Adelaide, so it's not as if you can't do it, but your kids have to be exceptional like Connor Rozee, like Zak Butters and like Xavier Duursma," he said.

"They have a hell of a lot of players 30-plus and a hell of a lot of players that are 21 or under."