Jose Mourinho’s departure from Tottenham always felt inevitable given their current patch of form – the timing of it is particularly perplexing though.
The final opportunity of silverware – with Spurs trophy-less since 2008 – comes this Sunday in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
But serial trophy-winner Mourinho, for all his faults a master of finals, will not be on the Wembley touchline, with ex-player Ryan Mason instead on caretaker duties.
Jose Mourinho was sacked as Tottenham manager on Monday after 17 months in charge
Food for thought all round the Spurs dressing room, but with some more than others.
Harry Kane’s future at the club has been subject of much speculation, but does this now increase his chances of moving elsewhere? And what of Gareth Bale, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli?
Sportsmail shines the spotlight on five players in particular following Mourinho’s departure and assesses what lies next, whether it is at Tottenham or elsewhere.
But what does this mean for the future of Spurs’ stars, such as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min?
Will he? Won’t he?
Kane’s future was subject of much speculation before Mourinho’s departure – but this will surely crank it up a notch or two.
Tottenham’s star man is now 2/1 to leave. He’s 28 this summer and is yet to win a major trophy in seven years in the first-team.
Of course, that could change this Sunday. Regardless though, Tottenham’s next move in terms of their manager will be decisive in Kane’s future. In fact, the England skipper will need to be blown away to be convinced his long-term future lies in north London.
While Mourinho’s 17 months weren’t exactly successful, Kane enjoyed a positive, fruitful relationship with him, as illustrated in the All or Nothing documentary.
And despite Spurs’ troubles, he once again is the Premier League’s leading marksman. That says a lot about him and his quality. This may well be the summer when he puts himself before his club.
Harry Kane has a big decision to make about his future this summer after Mourinho’s sacking
The most heartfelt message on social media this week, in the wake of Mourinho’s departure, was from Kane’s South Korean strike partner.
The message read: ‘I have no words to describe how I’m feeling, it’s been a pleasure to work with you.
‘I’m sorry things didn’t work out and truly grateful for the time we’ve had together. Good luck and all the best for the future.’
So, fair to say they were close. Like under Mauricio Pochettino, Son thrived playing in a counter-attacking system with the Portuguese on the touchline and his partnership with Kane has gone from strength to strength.
The South Korean international is a prized commodity and one of the league’s standout players. He turns 30 next year, should he be thinking about his future too?
Kane moving on would be gutting for Tottenham supporters. Son leaving too would be close to unimaginable.
Son (right) wrote an emotional message to Mourinho and insisted he feels ‘truly grateful’
Tottenham forward Son soon took to Instagram to admit that he has been left with ‘no words’
Frozen out under Mourinho, Dele Alli has been handed a late 2020-21 reprieve by Monday’s announcement.
While he flourished in the first few months after Mourinho’s appointment in November 2019, Alli has barely featured since being hauled off at half-time in the opening-day defeat by Everton.
Linked continuously with a move in January – and a reunion with Pochettino at PSG – the 2018 World Cup star stayed put.
Does this latest news now mean Alli has a future at Spurs? It will be fascinating to see how much Mason utilises him in the next month or so before the season’s conclusion.
One suspects the caretaker boss will get a revitalised and rejuvenated 25-year-old playmaker, much to the benefit of just about everyone.
Dele Alli was frozen out under Mourinho but will he now get a chance under Ryan Mason?
The Welsh winger is still set to return to Real Madrid at the end of the season, after a year’s loan spell where he has flattered to deceive.
He has struggled with his fitness, making just six Premier League appearances before February, and he struggled to earn the trust of the now-sacked boss.
Fans dreaming of a glorious return for the 31-year-old after his incredible performances in his first spell of the club have been richly disappointed.
Yet he has shown signs, albeit brief, of his star quality in recent months.
Mourinho’s sacking is unlikely to change the end outcome this summer though, with Bale set to return to the Spanish capital where he has a year left on his contract.
Bale has struggled on loan at Tottenham this season and was not a regular under Mourinho
The left back famously – and shown to the world on Amazon – fell out with Mourinho over not being selected regularly.
And yet, he’s still on the books at Tottenham. And by all accounts, he’s delighted with Mourinho’s departure.
The defender turned up to the club’s training ground visibly in high spirits and even had a laugh with the Sky Sports cameras.
The presenter at the ground reporting on Mourinho’s exit said: ‘Danny Rose popped out of the back of a van and asked all of us “what are you lot doing here?” before laughing and getting back in the van.’
The 30-year-old and the club’s longest-serving player may just have a future at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after all.
Danny Rose was in high spirits as he returned to Tottenham’s training ground on Monday