When Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones joined England's Under-21 squad for training in the Danish town of Fredericia on Thursday in preparation for the forthcoming European Championship, their lives had been transformed by the events of the previous 24 hours.
They had gone from simply being two precious commodities in Stuart Pearce's talented group to two shining symbols of the future of English football after being targeted as summer signings by Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.
Midfielder Henderson, 20, eventually sealed his move from Sunderland to Anfield on Thursday while Blackburn Rovers defender Jones, 19, is still waiting to confirm his switch to United after ignoring the advances of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.
Jones, who has flourished in central defence but can also operate in midfield, was the most sought after once Liverpool triggered a £16m release clause in his contract.
Kenny Dalglish had hoped to pip Sir Alex Ferguson to the teenager, who had emerged as an outstanding prospect following his debut against Chelsea in March 2010.
Ferguson's preferred option had been to wait another year to make his move for a player whose natural talent and temperament appears to make him heir apparent to Rio Ferdinand but Dalglish's intervention forced his hand.
But what about the price tag?
Former Blackburn striker Kevin Gallacher, a regular observer of Jones, dismissed the theory that the high demand and low supply of top-class English talent forced Ferguson to pay over the odds. In fact, the ex-Scotland forward believes United have got a bargain.
"I think he's under-priced, to be honest," Gallacher told me. "He is already top quality and will only get better with the players that will be around him at Manchester United. My own view is that Blackburn would have been looking for £20m minimum for Phil but there was a clause in his contract that enabled him to go for less."
And this is why Gallacher believes Ferguson has got a cut-price deal: "He's been absolutely fantastic for a 19-year-old playing in the Premier League. He is a leader on the park, can defend superbly and puts his body on the line.
"Aside from that, he can actually play, which gives him an ability to play in midfield, although I would imagine United want to use him in central defence. He is not scared to take the ball and play, all the things Sir Alex likes to see from his defenders.
"Lots of clubs are looking for young English talent coming through and it doesn't surprise me so many were interested in Phil. I suppose he might have to sit it out for a while at Old Trafford but who knows what will happen and how long Ferdinand might last.
"Phil has the personality and character to succeed at Old Trafford. He will only get better there and I think he is outstanding already."
United had also been linked with a move for Henderson after he won his first England cap against France in November but their interest waned as his form dipped amid Sunderland's struggles in the second half of the season.
Dalglish was not put off and has invested in the midfielder's rich promise. Henderson certainly fits the bill as far as Liverpool's owners - the Fenway Sports Group - are concerned. They are willing to pay big prices for young English players.
Former Sunderland defender Michael Gray believes Dalglish has conducted a shrewd piece of business and already sees the role Henderson may fulfil in Liverpool's side.
"Jordan is the modern day player," said Gray. "He is enthusiastic, goes from box to box and is full of energy. He is steady, rarely gives the ball away and has an eye for a pass. He also wants to be a winner and that will fit right in with what Kenny wants at Liverpool.
"He did have a dip in form in the second half of the season but I think Sunderland had so many injuries he was forced to play more games than he should have. His fitness levels dropped and it was probably time to pull him out but Steve Bruce wasn't able to do that.
"Jordan will have a little break after the England Under-21s and come back refreshed. And with Liverpool's bigger squad, Kenny will be able to manage him carefully.
"I think Kenny has signed a terrific player. The move will be good for Jordan and his international career. There is no better place for a young player to be than at one of the top five or six clubs. That is going to really benefit him."
Gray also believes Henderson can make his mark in a midfield that already features Steven Gerrard and Lucas.
"I think his best position is on the right side," said Gray. "He's got great delivery into the box and his dead ball skills are very strong. He has got the energy to play in front of a full-back who likes to get forward because he also has defensive awareness.
"He has the right character to succeed in an environment like Liverpool. He has got a great attitude. I have spoken to him and his father on numerous occasions and he is very level-headed and a great professional who is fully focused on his football."
The transfer fee is a lot but Gray believes Dalglish has made a sound investment.
"If you asked me if I think £20m is a lot for Jordan, then I would probably agree," said Gray. "But take into consideration that he is young, already a full England international and has the potential to develop into an outstanding player, then you could be looking at a bargain a few years down the line."