The soon-to-be most-expensive right-back in the world in their starting XI and the future Atletico Madrid number one right-back as his backup. Not bad, eh?
Even Danny Rose was playing out of his skin at left-back, with Welsh international Ben Davies in reserve.
These days it’s a bit of a sorry state. Serge Aurier is quite frankly the most erratic player to pull on a Premier League jersey, and if you’re going to challenge for a place in the top-six, Ben Davies is backup, not a starting XI player.
Ryan Sessegnon proved during his time in the Championship that he wasn’t a defender, while shoving square pegs in round holes by playing centre-backs Jan Vertonghen and Japhet Tanganga at full-back aren’t long-term fixes.
This summer, Jose Mourinho has got a big job on his hands at Spurs, and full-backs should be his first port of call.
One of Norwich’s standout players when the club was promoted from the Championship back in 2019.
Despite only making his first senior appearance less than two years ago, Aarons has already developed into one of the hottest prospects in the Premier League.
Voted the EFL YOung Player of the Year in his breakthrough season, Aarons was integral to Norwich’s style of play in getting promoted. The 20-year-old has a fantastic engine and has the pace to get up and down the pitch.
His debut season in the Premier League has seen him naively caught out defensively from time to time, though the style of play under Daniel Farke means this isn’t necessarily the youngster’s fault. Under the right stewardship he could develop into a world class full-back.
24-year-old Grimaldo has been turning heads with his performances for Benfica for a number of seasons now.
After failing to make the grade at Barcelona, the Spain under-21 international moved to Portugal in 2016 and has cemented his place in the Portuguese champions’ starting XI.
More in the Aaron Wan-Bissaka mould than the Benjamin Mendy mould, Grimaldo isn’t what you might think to be your modern-day full-back, as he's not blessed with pace or built like a sprinter.
Despite focusing more on the defensive side of his game,
At just 24 he has a bright future in the game and could be a solid addition for many years to come.
Max Aarons' full-back partner.
There’s very little to split the two, Lewis slightly more experienced having broken into the Norwich team the season prior to Aarons, but in terms off ability and athleticism there really is very little in it.
Lewis is a little less direct than Aarons and so perhaps hasn’t had the plaudits his teammate has over the past few seasons. Nevertheless, he is defensively astute and has a great engine.
The 22-year-old has been unfortunate not to be given more game time in his debut Premier League season, but that’s not a reflection on his ability. The emergence of Todd Cantwell on the left means the more defensively minded Sam Byram has regularly been given the nod over Lewis this season, purely due to the fact that Cantwell offers very little defensively.
Spurs could be able to snap him up relatively cheap given he’s not guaranteed a place in the starting XI under Farke.
Real Madrid may be beginning to regret letting Hernandez join AC Milan last summer.
When Paolo Maldini urges you to sign a full-back, then you’ve got a pretty good inkling that he might be alright. That’s what happened last summer when the former Italy international suggested his club sign Hernandez.
Less than a season into his Milan career and Hernandez is proving an astute acquisition. A regular starter for I Rossoneri, the 22-year-old’s attacking nous already sees him with five Serie A goals to his name.
His pace and ability on the ball mean he has all the attributes to play in a wing-back role if needed, while his stature and power mean he could even fill in at centre-back. A freak of a footballer who would be a great a signing for the Lilywhites.
The 27-year-old has been courted by some of Europe’s elite clubs for some time now.
Since arriving from Independiente for just £4m back in 2018, the Ajax left-back has proved himself to be a force at both ends of the pitch. The Argentine has gone on to make 25 international appearances for his country since his debut in 2017.
Part of Ajax’s Champions League semi-final side of 2019, Tagliafico’s quality in the final third is undoubtable, while his ability to defend is also unquestionable. An all-round quality footballer.
The 24-year-old seems to have been at Valencia forever. Another who seems to have been courted by a number of big clubs over recent seasons, with Chelsea and Arsenal both said to have shown an interest at one time or another.
Gaya isn’t the quickest but has a good positional sense and is a good reader of the game, qualities which have seen him earn seven international caps for Spain.
At 24 the Spaniard certainly has his best years ahead of him, and while he’d be a far from ground-breaking signing, he would certainly be an upgrade on what Spurs currently have.
One name from our list that you may not have heard of.
18-year-old Ait-Nouri is one of the hottest properties in French football right now. The teenage left-back has taken Ligue 1 by storm this year, with a whole host of clubs said to be queuing up to secure his signature, including French champions PSG.
Ait-Nouri has become renowned for his attacking ability, with Angers often utilising him in a wing-back role, while his pace means he rarely gets caught out defensively.
Despite making his name as an attacking left-back, stats show Ait-Nouri to be in the top five teenagers in the major European leagues for interceptions and the top ten for defensive duels won.