Peter Lawwell has insisted that he would tell his own son to stay at Celtic such is his conviction that the Parkhead club is the right place for young players to develop.

Celtic had six players in Gordon Strachan’s squad for this month’s World Cup qualifier against England with Kieran Tierney the poster-boy graduate of Celtic’s academy structure.

Michael Johnston and Anthony Ralston also featured in Brendan Rodger’s senior side in the latter stages of last term with Celtic assuring the immediate future of the former at the club with a three-year contract extension that staved off interest from Chelsea.

Rangers lost 15-year-old Billy Gilmour to the Stamford Bridge side, but Lawell has maintained that the pulling power of Rodgers and the structure at the club gives an assurance to young players that Celtic is a place where they will get their chance to improve.

“If you go somewhere else too early – and we saw this with the likes of Islam Feruz, maybe we’ll see it with Billy Gilmour – it is a big risk,” he said. “The financial attraction is there, you can’t ignore that, but the right advice, unquestionably is to stay here and if it was my own son that is the same advice that I would be dispensing.

“You have Brendan, Chris Davies and Glenn Driscoll who are world-class. There is a stage out there where you can become a player. We are always relaxed. We do not need to sell players.”

And Lawwell also believes that the genuine nature of what Celtic can offer facilitates the process of enticing young players to the club.

There is the obvious reach to relatively local youngsters that Celtic is a club where they can realise their potential but, as shown in recent years, there is also an ability to attract young players already at elite clubs who need exposure to first-team football.

Patrick Roberts has just completed a successful 18-month loan spell, while Moussa Dembele has continued the upward trajectory of his career following his inaugural season at Celtic.

“What makes it easier if you are sitting with a kid, either to keep here or bring here, is that when you really believe what you are saying,” said Lawwell.

“For these kids, it is undoubtedly right for them to come and develop here. It was right for Moussa to come here, it was right for Patrick and it is right for Michael and Anthony who are around it, the next in line to start coming through.

“A big sell for us is the manager because he loves developing players and he has such a strong track record of doing that. Playing here in front of 60,000 supporters, playing in the Champions League, developing a winning mentality and getting a profile is what we can offer young players. They then become marketable and they develop quicker here, no doubt about it.

“The point to players coming here is that Brendan is a big attraction, especially for young players because they can come here and they will get better. The reputation is well deserved that he has.”

Celtic rebuffed, too, the advances of Chelsea in January when the English champions came calling for Craig Gordon. The Scotland internationalist signed a long-term deal with the club and in the scenario that unfolded during the weeks of Chelsea revealing their interest – and testing Celtic’s resolve with an offer – Lawwell believes that there was an indication of the level of fulfilment that has been created at the club under Rodgers.

“All that indicates that players are happy here,” he said. “At certain points in your career happiness will be playing regular football and at a good level. I think the fact we were able to keep Craig here and offer him a good contract shows you that we are in a good place, that we have a happy camp. That comes through the ambition from the manager, from the club and from players who have all bought into that.

“We feel that we are in a good place at the moment, on and off the field. We have a manager that has got everyone excited and we are progressing in the way that we want.”

If the mark of a good coach is measured in the development of players, then Rodgers can point to players running throughout the squad this season who are almost unrecognisable from where they were this time a year ago.

“We felt the squad was underperforming last year but we have seen now is a complete reversal of that,” explained Lawwell. “Stuart Armstrong a year ago looked like a player who had lost all confidence and has been excellent this term, Callum has come through to the fore brilliantly, Dedryck Boyata too while I think we have seen a fantastic season from our captain, Scott Brown. But we could sit here and go through the entire team.

“That is particularly satisfying but it just re-affirms that this is a manager who can make players better. This is the place where players will and can improve.”