Fifty years ago, to be precise, Lee Majors was starring in popular science fiction and action television series 'The Six Million Dollar Man'.

The premise was that a former astronaut, USAF Colonel Steve Austin and test pilot was involved in an accident and was rebuilt with nuclear-powered bionic limbs and implants in order to serve as an intelligence agent. Bear with yours truly, because I know where I am going with this.

The intro was an instantly recognisable and iconic theme tune and contained the famous line: "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. Steve Austin will be that man. Better, stronger, and faster than he was before." Now in a Celtic sense as everything always relates back to Celtic substitute the words 'Reo Hatate' for 'Steve Austin' and we might have stumbled on to something here. See where I am going now?

There was something otherworldly about Hatate's performance for Celtic against Kilmarnock on Saturday. The Japanese playmaker's display was magnificent. His goal certainly bordered on the paranormal. In fact, you could say Hatate played like a bionic man.

It drew the kind of praise from managers that is usually only reserved for special players. Hatate is a special player for Celtic. He makes this team tick of that there is no doubt. A sublimely talented individual who is arguably the best footballer at the club.

Under Ange Postecoglou, Hatate was a vital cog in the green and white machine that stormed to the domestic treble last season. The Aussie made sure that Hatate 1.0 was a football force to be reckoned with as potential suitors started to take notice. Sure Celtic could have cashed in on their asset this summer and Hatate could have been the two times 'Six Million Dollar Man' for the Scottish champions and raked them in a tidy profit in the region of £10 million plus. No dice. No deal. No business.

READ MORE: The Celtic numbers: Reo Hatate runs the show as hosts win

Celtic Way: Reo Hatate celebrates opening the scoring for Celtic in 3-1 win over Kilmarnock

Rodgers knew exactly what he had in Hatate. A gem. A diamond that needs polished and all the rough edges smoothed off. It is largely why Rodgers convinced Hatate to sign on the dotted line for another five years until 2028. Hatate is now showing exactly why he is buying what Rodgers is selling.

Yet the naysayers, body language experts and doubters misconstrued Hatate's dip in form and injury as meaning that he was edging closer to the Parkhead exit door only a matter of weeks ago. There was even talk of dressing room disharmony involving Rodgers and Hatate as other midfielders got the chance to stake their claim and climb above him in the pecking order. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As Rodgers said on Saturday after the midfield maestro's masterclass against Killie: "This was the first game that Reo has come alive for me. He scored a brilliant goal and was superb. I went through things with him the other day. Because if he wants to get to the highest level, there needs to be more intensity in his game.

"What he showed on Wednesday night is not (enough). I took him through clips of the Lazio game, all without the ball. He took it on board, was very open and he produced a fantastic performance today. That’s the level. You can’t switch the engine on and off. At the highest level against the best players, you have to turn up every week. That’s the challenge for Reo. He’s not young, he’s 25.

"But at that level of intensity, everything else is then natural for him. It’s my job as a coach to help him stay there. He has set the standard now and I’m sure he’ll do everything he can to do that.

"Reo needed a performance like that. With him it is all about intensity and workrate. When he works to that level and intensity he is a fantastic player. When he is slow and his pressing is slow he does not have the same dynamism.

"He was outstanding today and he scored a great goal and he could have had at least one more. He was very creative and his pressing was good and his quality was good and he was outstanding."

READ MORE: Watch as Celtic's Hatate scores stunning solo goal against Kilmarnock

It is small wonder the duo shared a lingering embrace in the centre circle immediately after the game at the weekend. The apprentice (Hatate) was laughing along with the master as he doffed his cap and bowed to Rodgers' managerial genius. Elite-level managers can spot elite-level players a mile off. Rodgers is well aware that if he can get his claws into Hatate then the sky really is the limit for him.

Hatate himself opened up on the new deal and Rodgers' influence when he gave an interview to Celtic TV and said: "Personally, I picked up an injury and it has been a short period of time working together. However, he knows football and has a lot of experience. I’m really happy that he values me, but I haven’t shown everything that I have yet.

"Of course, I’m trying to give 100 per cent and my condition needs to be better. So I want to improve my level quickly and I want to respond to the manager’s trust by performing well. I’m not satisfied just yet but I’m very happy to play under the new manager. I’m really happy to play in front of the Celtic supporters.

"The fans of our club have so much passion and I would like to give them more memorable moments so let’s enjoy it all together."

However, Hatate nailed it when he said the following few words: "Speaking to the manager and speaking about the future plans. I’m convinced about his plan and I thought I can improve myself under this manager.”

Rodgers in managerial terms was acting akin to the NASA scientist who went to work on Steve Austin. If Hatate 1.0 was good. Hatate 2.0 is going to be great and you ain't seen nothing yet. Rodgers the rebuilder has a plan. Can he fix Hatate? Yes, he can. After all, isn't the Northern Irishman's managerial forte making players better?

In short, this was Rodgers' way of saying to everybody: "Gentlemen, I can rebuild him. Reo Hatate will be that man. Better, stronger and faster than he was before."

The rest of Scottish football would have every right to be afraid, very afraid. So too would Europe if Hatate could translate that domestic form onto the greatest platform of all. Remember this is a player who Celtic picked up for a bargain basement £1 million from Kawasaki Frontale less than two years ago.

A more dynamic Hatate wouldn't simply be just another 'Six Million Dollar Man' in terms of monetary value to Celtic. In fact, if Hatate 2.0 rebuilt under Rodgers can perform on the Champions League group stage then the Japanese international will eventually leave the Glasgow club for what the Celtic faithful jokingly refer to as 'Dembele Dollars'.

That's Kieran Tierney and Jota transfer fees to the likes of you and I.