Tottenham, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son are entering the proverbial “last-chance saloon.”
While, clearly, all three of those parties could well go on to have success without each other, the window is certainly closing on the possibility of them having it together.
Lucky then that Antonio Conte is in town.
Already, Spurs look ready to be trying to cash in on having the Kane, Son, Conte triumvirate.
After convincing the Italian to stay, Daniel Levy looks ready to change his approach. Ivan Perisic will be a Tottenham player next summer and although his signing alone might not instantly take Spurs to a Premier League title, it is a sign of a shift behind the scenes.
Rarely do Spurs move for players over the age of 30, preferring to invest in longer-term projects. Conte is clearly making the most of the assurances given to him by both Levy and Paratici.
With Kane and Son both soon to hit 30, those promises needed to come. Conte is a manager capable of great things over a short period. There is little time to waste.
Taking a wider look across the Premier League, Spurs’ position looks strong.
Manchester United are set for another rebuild, Chelsea are entering a new era and Arsenal will have the added burden of Europa League football. Newcastle United, meanwhile, are still in the early days of their controversial new project.
Given Spurs went unbeaten against both Liverpool and Manchester City last season, it does not seem reasonable to imagine they can push the top two closer than anyone else.
A few months ago, that might have sounded ridiculous, but the fact they have managed to break into the top four and keep Conte around is utterly transformational. Never before have Spurs been in this kind of position in the modern era.
Mauricio Pochettino might have taken them close to the ultimate glory but that was built on something much different. Now, Spurs are genuine big-time players.
Perisic will surely be followed by a number of other signings, particularly after the club’s ENIC owners announced there would be £150m injected into the transfer kitty this summer. They may not be the ideal additions to make with balance sheets in mind, but look how far that has got Tottenham in the post-Pochettino era.
Kane, Son and Conte are the kind of individuals pretty much any other top team around Europe would take in a heartbeat. They are their substantial assets, far and above their shiny new stadium.
Such is their relatively short lifespan together, Levy has decided to loosen his grip on the club. Where last summer the Spurs chairman dug his heels in by refusing to sell Kane or give Conte the assurances he needed, Levy has seen it is the one chance of success two of the club’s greatest ever players have left to taste success in a Tottenham kit.
Further down the line, Conte’s combustible nature makes it difficult to predict what might happen. There’s surely only so much Levy will allow him.
For now, however, all four of them are in the right place at the right time. Conte may not have been available had Spurs waited to sack Nuno Espirito Santo, and Kane and Son would surely have considered their own futures.
In so many ways, the fitting of Levy and Conte does not work. Unlike Kane and Son, it’s difficult to see much in the way of telepathy. Still, with such a short window ahead, it’s a marriage of convenience at the best possible time.
For Tottenham, the stars have aligned.