IF the Celtic board had a pound for every time they were told a particular player of theirs wasn’t all that because “it’s only Scottish football” they would have more money than Real Madrid.

Such small thinking remains common south of the border which has a league so rich that Stoke City can steal the best talent from Inter Milan without breaking into a sweat. Put simply, if a transfer target isn’t operating in England, that's the Championship as well, or one of the bigger European countries then they are not a target.

Unless the club is Southampton who have rather cleverly spent big money on Fraser Forster, Virgil van Dijk and Victor Wanyama. The last man mentioned moved to Tottenham last summer, the Dutch defender could become one of the world’s most expensive defenders next month while the big goalie is one of the best in that league.

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None of them were brought through the academy; however, Celtic signed them for a pittance, nurtured them and then moved them on after great service for huge fees. It stands to reason that somewhere down the line Moussa Dembele, Kieran Tierney and Jozo Simunovic will travel down a similar path.

John Kennedy, the Celtic coach, believes the perception about the quality, or lack of, in the Ladbrokes Premiership, particularly at his own club, has changed in recent times. Celtic might have got a few signings wrong in recent years but nobody can say that overall their record in finding genuine top class players on the cheap-ish has been superb.

“In the last year, maybe the last six to twelve months, attitudes are changing,” said Kennedy. “I get that from speaking to people in England. Southampton have taken a few off us and other players have moved to teams and, all of a sudden, the big boys think ‘we want a piece of this’.

“Now they are seeing that we do produce good players, we’re getting good players in and we’re making them better. So instead of having to pay two or three times the price that someone else is willing to take the risk on, I think you’ll see, in the near future, that some of the big ones will come and pluck the very best that we’ve got because we do have high-calibre players.

Read more: John Kennedy: Torino will be wasting their time with a January bid for Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic

“Moussa’s getting all the headlines just now, but on top of that, we have a lot of players in the squad who could go and play Premier League football quite easily.”

The best example in Kennedy’s mind is Van Dijk who has gone from a defender who was ‘only good in Scottish football’ to one that any club in the Premier League would happily take.

“I don’t think people appreciated what Virgil was all about when he was playing in Scotland,” said the coach who, it must be said, could himself have made the club a fortune had injury not wrecked what surely would have been a top class career.

“A lot of English media and teams looked at him thought, ‘we’re unsure’, but he’s top, top. He’s the very top. I think he’s the best centre back in England. “Virgil is the type of player, when you look at his game and the stature of him, he could play for any team he wants to. Even Barcelona. That’s the level I see him at. It would be stupid of some of the big teams in England not to make a move for him.”

This Celtic team face Dundee at home this weekend as they try to extent their unbeaten domestic run to a million games or something. Such dominance at home is expected, it’s the style rather than the winning which has so charmed the supporters, and they did show against Manchester City that they were capable of giving one of England strongest teams a heap of trouble.

“The ones who do have questions over Celtic and Scottish football, well we answered a lot of those questions,” said Kennedy. “We put a lot of people back in their place by showing we can compete at that level.

“We now have a squad that is very confident that they can compete at that level. When we first went into it, there was maybe a little bit of caution in the players’ minds but when we got out there and took the reins off and let themselves go, they showed they can compete. That’s great for us going forward, especially for next year’s campaign, hopefully.”

Everyone at Celtic will be asked about this unbeaten run until, well, until they lose a match which does not look like happening any time soon.

Read more: John Kennedy: Torino will be wasting their time with a January bid for Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic

“The unbeaten record doesn’t mean anything to us in terms of where we want to go,” said Kennedy. “The most important factor is we are winning games and winning with style. We have a way of playing, a way of working, and we need to concentrate on that.

“The minute you take your eye off the ball and worry about making history, unbeaten records and everything else, you can forget what is important which is doing your job for the team. If everyone does that it will take us a long way.”

Scott Sinclair, so good until picking up an injury against Barcelona, has returned to training which is a boost given Celtic’s hectic December.

“Scott will be in and around the squad for Saturday,” said Kennedy. “It’s doubtful he’ll start but he had his first training session today. He looked sharp. In terms of the squad, we are looking good.”