Leigh Griffiths turned 30 this week.

The Celtic striker wears some of his story on his sleeve with the inkings that chart the milestones of his life to date. They were visible in the snapshot Celtic released as they congratulated him on the big birthday but one has to wonder about the indelible nature of what cannot be seen.

No-one knows the undercurrents that have played havoc with Griffiths’ career in recent years and nor do they need to.

But among the chaos that has been evident through choices made, it hasn’t been lost on anyone that Griffiths can score goals.  That natural ability served him well throughout his career until he came into contact with a manager who needed more than just a player who turned up on game day.

On the evening when Brendan Rodgers was unveiled as Celtic manager just over four years ago, Griffiths was at the party. The striker was there as Rodgers emerged from the tunnel on a balmy Monday night to an unprecedented welcome from 13,000 Celtic supporters who had gathered inside the stadium.

Rodgers drank in the plaudits but Griffiths revelled in it all too – photographs with the league trophy and a fair bit of adulation of his own from the crowd. He had just seen off a season in which he had netted 40 goals; the first Celtic player to achieve such a feat since Henrik Larsson. In the same season he had hit his half century for the Parkhead club quicker than any other Celtic striker since Charlie Nicholas. He might never have been surer of his place in the dressing room hierarchy.

And yet it very quickly became apparent that Rodgers wanted more. Fed up of being asked about Griffiths, Rodgers responded one afternoon to a question about why a player who had scored 40 goals couldn’t find a starting place in his team; ‘do you know how many days of training he missed last season?’ he snapped back.

The following season his tally had reduced more than half -  he managed 18 in that invincible season as Moussa Dembele stole the majority of the headlines. In the season that followed he managed 13, then just 6.

The strong return – 11 – in the latter half of last term ought to have teed him up to hit the ground running this season.

We all know that went pear-shaped in lockdown but the question now is what comes next.

Celtic are reluctant to listen to offers for Odsonne Edouard given the nature of this season and what is on the line. If they are successful in holding off offers for the French forward for another year then they will have new signing Albian Ajeti either as back-up or to play as part of a front two, of which Lennon experimented with to considerable success last term.

But the Swiss forward cost Celtic the best part of £5m to secure. It is a significant sum that suggests there will be a place for him somewhere. Polish striker Patryck Klimala used lockdown to bulk up and appears to have jumped Griffiths now in the pecking order.

The Scotland internationalist has scored 115 goals for Celtic in 233 appearances. But there is a feeling that a fresh start might be in everyone’s best interests.

Neil Lennon batted away talk of a loan move away and reiterated that Griffiths is still not match fit but as things stand currently, it may well be the best course of action for a player who needs the impetus of having something to prove to his critics in order to get the best out of himself.

At 30, Griffiths should be in the best years of his career. He should have had a telling contribution to make to a season in which Celtic are looking to make their mark with the historic ten. The bragging rights that come with that will mean little to anyone outwith the parochial Scottish bubble but if successful their legacy will be lauded by the Parkhead support.

Going elsewhere, even if only for the first half of the campaign, might give him a fighting chance of returning to have some sort of part to play in it.  Certainly, it would be everyone’s loss if the best years of Griffiths are already seen in the rearview mirror.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke is crying out for a striker and by the time the country went into lockdown in March, Griffiths looked like the obvious choice. Regaining that international place and regaining trust will only come now if he get himself back on track yet again.

He has done it time and time again but the real challenge lies in staying there.