Pep Guardiola laid down a significant marker when allowing Joao Cancelo to leave Manchester City on what was an unpredictably chaotic deadline day at the Etihad Stadium and beyond.
Despite having to play catch up on Arsenal at the Premier League summit, there is every chance City and the star-studded team Guardiola possesses can bridge the gap and get their hands on another English crown and this, too, could finally be the year Kevin de Bruyne and his teammates end their European hoodoo.
Having bided their time to replace Sergio Aguero when he departed last summer, City won the goalscoring lottery when signing Norway striker Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund and could yet double up on their jackpot by getting their hands on his former Bundesliga teammate Jude Bellingham.
Very few players have the capacity to replace those two and City will certainly miss them if these next few months do prove to be their swansong.
But that man Bellingham would, at least, smooth the next transition while Guardiola bids to revamp his engine room after prompting similar changes in attacking quarters as well as his defensive line not too long ago.
And he proved that to him first-hand just a few months ago.
“The quality and skills, everyone knows about it, but it’s not just about that,” proclaimed Guardiola after Bellingham scored against City, albeit in a losing cause for Dortmund on their Champions League trip to the Etihad Stadium in September.