Brighton keeper reveals the first person he called after surprise debut at Tottenham

Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Robert Sanchez was a surprise inclusion as Brighton narrowly lost 2-1 at high-flying Tottenham earlier this month

Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez made his Premier League debut at Spurs
Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez made his Premier League debut at Spurs

Sanchez, 22, was thrust into the Premier League spotlight for the first time and performed well on his debut against the likes of Harry Kane and co.

Regular No 1 Maty Ryan was a surprise omission at Spurs and it was the first time the Australian international had been dropped for Albion in the Premier League following his arrival in 2017.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Jason Steele had featured for Brighton in the Carabao Cup matches earlier this season and preformed well in the victories against Portsmouth and Preston.

Many expected the more experienced Steele to step up if Ryan suffered an injury or, as Graham Potter described it, 'needed a breather.'

But Sanchez, who was on loan at League One Rochdale last season, was the man tasked with keeping out Tottenham's lethal attack.

The 6ft 6in Spaniard made a coupe of confidence boosting saves in the first half and after the break he produced a stunning reflex stop to prevent an own goal from Albion defender Joel Veltman.

Despite the narrow loss, the match is a career highlight for Sanchez who left his home town of Cartagena, Spain at the age of 15 and signed his first contract with Brighton in 2015.

Sanchez was told he’d be making his debut the day before the Tottenham clash and the first person he contacted was his mother, Maria Isabel.

He said, “I always call my mum and kept telling her my chance would come. I speak to her all of the time and she always tells me how proud she is of me.

“On Saturday I called her and told her they’d have to sort out being able to watch it on TV! She let some of our other friends know as well and was obviously very happy.

“I had a lot of my family and friends watching. My Mum called me after the game, and I got what felt like 1,000 text messages as well. I had to put my phone on silent for a few hours!”

Sanchez, who is contracted with Brighton until 2023, was then left out of the matchday squad in the following game against Burnley.

Ryan was back between the sticks and kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw and Steele was the No 2.

Sanchez however is back training hard and pushing for his next opportunity and credits his parents for the work ethic they instilled in him.

“My parents did everything for me, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be a footballer today," he said.

“My mum was always searching for football camps for me to go to during the summer and my dad worked hard to earn money so I could go to tournaments. They gave all their energy for me.

“My Dad would start work earlier some days so he could get away and take me to training to Murcia. I owe so much to them, they are a massive part of why I am here today.”

Brighton are next in Premier League action at Aston Villa on Saturday, November 21.

Follow all the Albion latest on our social media: Our Facebook and Twitter brings you all the very latest Albion news, opinion and analysis.