Celtic have won umpteen trophies with a homegrown talent on their right-flank, a Hoops diehard at left-back and a number of promising Scottish cameos in between.

James Forrest has picked up a plethora of personal accolades including player's player of the year and young player of the year. Kieran Tierney the same, Callum McGregor too has won numerous gongs. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

What are they proving, I hear you ask. Well, the aforementioned players - as well as the likes of Mikey Johnston, Anthony Ralston and Ewan Henderson - are proving that there is a pathway to the first-team at Parkhead from their youth academy, if they put the work in.

Forrest has played more than 350 games in Celtic's first-team. Tierney, before leaving for a princely sum of £25million, starred for his beloved club more than 160 times. Because they worked their socks off from day one.

Rangers, meanwhile, had - and still have - Allan McGregor as proof their system works. Ross and Robby McCrorie have done well and Nathan Patterson has debuted for the A-team, as has Josh McPake.

That's where the doubts begin to rear their head. Why, if there is a proven, tried and tested pathway from youth action to Scottish Premiership football, why are Scotland's youngest and brightest prospects opting to up-sticks and move on so early?

We've seen Liam Morrison, for example, depart for Bayern Munich at just 16-years-old. Of course, Munich are an institution. It's not often a club of that size will come in for a young Scottish lad, and Morrison was right to hear what they had to say. He was also right, if and as he felt to do so, to move to Germany and try and make it there. Barry Hepburn, another young Hoops starlet, looks incredibly likely to join him.

Closer to home, Josh Adam looks set to make the move from Parkhead to Manchester City at just 16 and there is more than a modest number of English Premier League clubs clamouring over themselves to nick 15-year-old Daniel Kelly from under Celtic's noses. At Gers, Kai Kennedy has been the subject of serious interest from City and Munich and defender Leon King has been watched by Chelsea.

I understand youngsters wanting to test themselves at the highest level. But is German youth football REALLY that much better than what we have at our disposal here, at our top clubs? Under-17s is still under-17s. The club's name and the bump in weekly wage is probably more likely to be the pull. Facilities-wise, Celtic have invested heavily in their infrastructure, and Lennoxtown is up there with the best. So it's certainly not that other clubs in different countries have better facilities.

Rangers' training complex has also been revamped in recent years and the Light Blues continue to invest in their academy coaching. Bringing in the likes of Mark Spalding, Kevin Thomson and Peter Lovenkrands as well as David McCallum has shown their commitment to the future.

I'll say now, there's nothing better than watching a young player from Scotland blossom and succeed, no matter where they are playing their football. There's a reason the national pride has been swelling for months over a certain ex-Rangers midfielder Billy Gilmour and his exploits for Chelsea's first-team in the English Premier League. Watching him casually nutmeg Liverpool's Fabinho felt, I'd imagine, what it would feel like to watch your child take his or her first steps.

Unfortunately, the success rate for young Scots outside of their home country has not been too great. Ryan Gauld, labelled mini-Messi at one time (because, of course he was), has not kicked on as he and the country would have liked after signing for Sporting Lisbon for £3million back in 2014.

Jack Harper, another Scot plying his trade abroad, has bounced around among Real Madrid and Brighton, over to Malaga, then Getafe and now he's on loan at Alcorcon. Not exactly setting the world alight.

When there is a tried-and-tested pathway at Celtic and Rangers, the fear is that young players are losing sight of what is in their own best interests. No disrespect to Scotland's top two, but it is certainly more difficult to play first-team football at Bayern Munich and Manchester City than it would be to break into Neil Lennon and Steven Gerrard's XI. Youngsters should try to remember that.

What is obvious is that both Celtic and Rangers - as well as other clubs in the country - have tried to tie down their best young players. Pre-contracts are being offered to the top talents all the time. They desperately want to keep hold of their brightest. What more can be done?

It's the players' choice to make. Who am I, who are we, to question their decision? We want success for our young prospects so that, ultimately, we gain success at international level. However our players get there, shouldn't matter. If they can manage it playing for a top club in Europe, earning big bucks and starring in a big league in the process, more power to them.

It might just be that bit more difficult.