Scottish football has been host to many great players throughout its illustrious history.
There are stars that come to your club though, and you know just from a few matches that they are destined for bigger things.
Where most of these players go is England, mainly to the Championship or League One, usually for a better wage slip and arguably a better level of football. There are some though that make it the highest level in UK football, the English Premier League.
We have taken a look at four Premier League stars who turned out for Scottish clubs before getting their chance in the Premier League.
Aaron Mooy- St Mirren
Whilst his club Huddersfield may be at the basement of the Premier League, Aaron Mooy has shown on countless occasions he is Premier League quality with his superb passing, energy and long range finishing. He was far from that reality nine years ago.
After leaving Bolton in 2010, Mooy moved north to Paisley and joined St Mirren. He enjoyed a decent first campaign, but his 2011/12 campaign was marred by a serious back problem. The Australian showed in flashes his potential, but that wasn’t enough to warrant the Buddies giving him a new deal. Mooy moved on in 2012, joining Western Sydney Wanderers in his native Australia.
It is a case of what could have been for Mooy in Paisley, as he has went from strength to strength since then, becoming a proven Premier League player in the process. He is a quality midfielder, and is definitely a player the Buddies were robbed of due to injury.
Sol Bamba- Dunfermline and Hibernian
The Ivorian has played every game in Cardiff City’s return to the Premier League, becoming one of their main players this season. He arrived on Scottish shores in 2006, but it could have been so different for Sol Bamba.
The centre-half signed for Dunfermline in 2006, transferring from French giants PSG. It wasn’t originally him the Pars intended to sign though, with Dunfermline boss Jim Leishman moving for the centre-half after another defensive deal fell through. It was good luck for the Pars boss, as Bamba went on to play 39 times in Fife between 2006-2008, featuring in the 2007 Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic.
From Dunfermline, Bamba moved to Easter Road to join Hibs, where he played a further 80 times in Scotland. His physicality and defensive awareness was there for everyone to see, as the Ivorian became a much-loved figure at Easter Road.
He moved for England in 2011, joining Leicester City. He has since had spells in Turkey, Italy and the Championship with Leeds United, before moving to Cardiff City. Bamba’s journey to Premier League football really kicked-off with first team minutes at East End Park.
Kasper Schmeichel- Falkirk
One of the first loan spells the young goalkeeper had, Kasper Schmeichel arrived at Falkirk in 2007 on a loan deal from Manchester City.
Son of Peter, Schmeichel impressed on several occasions during his 15 appearances with the Bairns, helping them to a respectable 7th place finish in the 2006/07 season. What became apparent was his great shot-stopping ability, as well as his commanding presence in the 18-yard box.
He left at the end of the 2006/2007 season, making his debut for City the following August against West Ham, and kept a clean sheet against Manchester United in his next game.
It’s at Leicester City though that Schmeichel will forever be associated with. He was one of the stars in the Foxes side that did the unthinkable and won the Premier League. He has made over 200 appearances for Leicester, but Falkirk fans will claim he learnt everything he knows with the Bairns.
Andrew Robertson- Queens Park and Dundee United
It would be unfair to make this list and not include the Scotland captain. His rise has been a minor miracle, with Andy Robertson now regarded as one of the best left-backs in world football.
It was in his native country he learned his trade, and it wasn’t easy. Following his release from Celtic, Robertson began to make a name for himself at Queens Park, before moving onto Dundee United. There he showcased on the biggest stage in Scotland his undoubted potential. Robertson became equally as good going forward as he was defensively, thus earning him a move to Hull City in 2014.
He made just under 100 appearances over three years for the Tigers before his move to Merseyside. He struggled to break into Jurgen Klopp’s side at first, but has now became one of the first names on the German’s team sheet.
In just seven years, Robertson has went from League Two with the Spiders to a Champions League final with Liverpool. It just shows how good first team football in Scotland can be for a youngster’s development.