Speak to anyone involved in Scottish football and they'll tell you that the current crop of Under-16 players coming through the academy systems are among the best they've seen.

If the identity of the clubs circling around some of those talented youngsters is anything to go by then it seems they might be right. At the same time, it's worrying that they are already being snaffled up by clubs from elsewhere.

The heads of youth academies come together once a month to discuss best practice for coaching methods. Meanwhile, a model for the identikit Scottish player and the coach who should be coaching him is in development and, as such, the national underage teams are blossoming. And yet here we are.

Last week, it emerged that Josh Adam, a 16-year-old midfielder who was named player of the tournament in the prestigious Marc Overmars tournament last year, is poised to leave the Celtic youth academy for Manchester City.

In doing so, he will become the third Celtic academy player to leave within the last year. In summer 2019, the defender Liam Morrison joined Bayern Munich and he is expected to be joined by Scotland Under-17 international Barry Hepburn. Celtic are known to be particularly concerned at the actions of an agent seeking to move their players on.

Bayern have a track record for bringing through youth, much more so than sovereign-wealth-funded City, who couldn't find a spot for Jadon Sancho, possibly the best young player in the world right now, in their starting XI. Phil Foden another prodigiously gifted midfielder - once identified by Pep Guardiola as "the most talented player" he had ever seen - has made just 32 league appearances under the Catalan since making his debut in 2017.

Perhaps the argument is that City will develop you for a career elsewhere and you'll at least be rich by the time that chance comes.

It is not the first time a talented youngster has left Celtic for perceived greener pastures. The case of Islam Feruz demonstrates that departing before gaining first-team experience at one's development club is not always the best course of action.

Feruz took the route out of Celtic at the age of 16 for Chelsea where he joined a youth set-up that included such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Andreas Christensen, and Charly Musonda. Despite some early success, he did not make a single appearance in the first team at Stamford Bridge and is now without a club following unsuccessful loan spells at Blackpool, Hibernian and, most recently, Swindon Town. Feruz, last seen turning out for an amateur team, was presented with all kinds of 'incentives' for making the switch. Chelsea, of course, were later found guilty of 148 transfer breaches by FIFA pertaining to overseas players of which Bertrand Traore, now at Lyon, was the most high profile.

Feruz – and any number of other young players who moved to Stamford Bridge prior to their transfer ban and Frank Lampard's arrival as manager – is a salutary lesson for staying where you are. Yes, the coaching in England is among the best in the world but it is no guarantee of success as Feruz's example demonstrates. The flip side to this example is, of course, Billy Gilmour who has seized his chance after leaving Rangers and could become a mainstay for years to come. He is more the exception than the rule.

That's the personal dimension but the talent drain has wider ramifications for the Scottish Professional Football League as a product, too. Supporters are robbed of the chance of seeing these burgeoning talents – a pebble effect that can potentially alter television deals, attendances, levels of competitiveness, manager's jobs and so on. When it comes without a transfer fee attached, it is even more galling: there is insufficient compensation paid and the developing club is unable to reinvest in the very system that yielded the players.

This is particularly prevalent at a time of financial crisis – such as now. When Scottish football last faced a similar scenario, during Rangers' implosion at the start of the last decade, clubs were forced to field players from their academies. It spawned the wonderfully attractive Dundee United team of Ryan Gauld, Stewart Armstrong and Andy Robertson. The latter two names will be of some note since they were players who, following different routes, eventually ended up as Premier League footballers.

There is no reason why remaining at Celtic should be an obstacle to a move to the top level when the time is right. Kieran Tierney was granted his last summer when Arsenal took the plunge following interest from a number of English Premier League clubs while Brendan Rodgers would welcome Callum McGregor at Leicester City with open arms.

The progress of academy graduates into the Rangers first team has been less consistent, in part because of an unwillingness to chuck players in when they are attempting to overhaul Celtic in a title race each season.

What struck me as odd was that when Rangers had the chance to fill their team with players from their youth academy – presumably containing some of the best young Scots in the country – in Division Three, they opted to pursue a policy of signing old pros when they could conceivably have navigated through the lower divisions with a healthy dose of Championship/Division One players and the best of their kids.

Ask those in the know and they say Kai Kennedy and Nathan Patterson are tremendous prospects who can go right to the top of the game. Rangers would do well to fast-track them into the first team as soon as they possibly can or risk inviting some of the same issues currently dogging Celtic where Karamoko Dembele was the subject of a £10m offer from an unnamed Premier League club before he'd even made his debut at Parkhead. He may be lost to Scotland, having declared for England last year, but at least he will be around for the foreseeable future having heeded the advice of his agent by agreeing a professional contract at Celtic.

If coaching standards are improving in Scotland exponentially and, by extension, a better level of player is emerging it is only a matter of time before English clubs or those from further afield start hoovering up our best talent on a habitual basis. Hopefully, by then, they will be household names in Scotland as much for their own sakes, as for the entire footballing ecosystem in this country. They only need to look at Islam Feruz's example - and the poor advice he was given - as proof of what might happen next.