“BRING me your tired, your poor, your young, your old. Your unwanted, your untested and your unknown. Send these to me.”

Not words you are likely to hear out of the mouth of SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster any time soon but rather a concise summation of the transfer business conducted by his clubs during the transfer window so far.

It has been a long time since Scottish football was able to lure elite players from England or the continent who could be considered at the peak of their powers. Simple economics dictate as much. As the financial chasm continues to grow between the elite European leagues and the rest, there is next to no chance of a leading light joining a Scottish club ever again. Not when average players who you wouldn’t recognise in a police line-up can earn obscene sums playing in English football’s second or even third tier. Scottish football tried to compete with that in the past and many paid a heavy price for doing so.

Our clubs, therefore, need to pursue different avenues when it comes to player recruitment. There is no value in trying to position the SPFL as a genuine rival to the Premier League but instead as a place where players can come to better themselves ahead of making that step-up, a bit like Olivia Colman grafting for years as a comedic turn in Peep Show before going on to become a Hollywood A-lister.

If players can be drawn to Scotland simply because of its proximity and cultural similarities to England, then clubs should embrace that. There is no shame in being used as a stepping stone if it opens up a window to bring in players with glowing potential, even if that is likely to be eventually realised elsewhere. Virgil van Dijk saw the merit in such a process and reaped the benefits.

Making a similar journey will likely have crossed the mind of one of his modern-day successors, Vakoun Bayo, who has moved to Celtic this month. The idea that players may come to their club simply to improve and then pass through may not sit well with some supporters but, pragmatically, it makes sense for all involved.

Scottish football has also become a haven for those seeking football rehabilitation. Oliver Burke at Celtic, Ross McCormack at Motherwell, and Ryan Gauld and Scott Allan at Hibernian, represent a clutch of talented forward players who have, for various reasons, lost their way in recent times. Scottish football will give them the platform to hopefully return to their best, something all have been deprived of in recent times. That can only be good for that quartet and hopefully also the national team in the long run.

Burke is an enigma. At 21 years old, he became the most expensive Scottish footballer of all time when he moved to RB Leipzig for a reported £13 million in 2016 then broke that record just a year later when West Bromwich Albion signed him for £15m. Players, of course, can do nothing about the size of transfer fees but those tags can become a burden. Unable to force his way into the West Brom team even after relegation, he will look to gather fresh impetus under Brendan Rodgers at Celtic.

McCormack will look to do the same. Another player who has moved for big money on more than one occasion in his career, the 32-year-old has fallen by the wayside in recent years as a fourth loan move in two years testifies. Motherwell should provide a familiar setting in which to reignite a stalling career.

Gauld and Allan will seek similar salvation at Easter Road. A nation has kept its fingers crossed for years that Portuguese football would eventually provide the backdrop for Gauld to evolve from caterpillar to butterfly but his metamorphosis remains incomplete. Hibs will look to help him get his wings.

The same goes for Allan who has been spotted in public in recent months about as often as David Cameron. Certain players seem to flourish at certain clubs, and Hibs fans hope it will be the same with Allan when he returns for a third spell. Scottish football should shout more about its restorative powers.

The same goes for its willingness to give another chance to those regarded elsewhere as beyond their best. Rangers demonstrated earlier in the season their willingness to give ageing players an Indian summer with the signing of then 38-year-old Gareth McAuley, and have followed that up by bringing in Jermain Defoe (36) and Steven Davis (34). No club in Scotland would have got near Defoe in his prime but, having found football hard to come by in Bournemouth, the striker has traipsed north to compose a coda to an already impressive career. Rangers will be hoping he still has some of that Premier League stardust to sprinkle.

Others have been entrusted as babysitters, looking after young talent for a short time before sending them back to their parent clubs. Timothy Weah at Celtic, for one, will look to show he can be trusted to play with the big boys and hope PSG will let him do the same when he returns to France.

All of these players ought to augment the SPFL’s talent pool over the coming months. It shows once again that you don’t always need the biggest cheque book to recruit well.