Former Sunderland man emerges as new option in Graham Potter's key position for Brighton

Albion boss Graham Potter has been forced into a vital change when they resume their Premier League campaign at Aston Villa on November 20

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 8:29 am
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 8:32 am
Graham Potter has been forced into a goalkeeping change

Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez will miss the trip to Villa Park following his red card in the final minutes of Brighton's 1-1 draw with Newcastle at the Amex Stadium last Saturday.

Sanchez, 23, received a straight red card for tripping Magpies striker Callum Wilson when he was clean through on goal.

Sanchez said he took one for the team and it helped Albion to a point which sees them in seventh place on 17 points from 11 matches ahead of the latest international break.

It does however leave Potter without his Spanish international goalkeeper who has been ever-present for Brighton in the Premier League since he displaced Maty Ryan as Albion's No 1 last season.

Potter has two main options as back-up for Sanchez with former Sunderland goalkeeper Jason Steele and summer arrival Kjell Scherpen vying for a spot.

The experienced Steele has captained Brighton in the Carabao Cup competition this season and is expected to face Villa ahead of the Dutchman.

Potter said: "Jason’s played in the Carabao Cup, so Jason will be in goal and Kjell will support him. Jason has never let us down, he’s a fantastic guy and he will take the opportunity.

"His distribution is fantastic, makes saves. He knows the guys, works with us every day so no problems with Jason. That’s what he’s there for, to wait for an opportunity and to be ready and I know he will do that."

Sanchez is currently away on international duty with Spain and will be available for selection for their next home match after Villa against Leeds on November 27.

Potter has backed his young keeper to comeback stronger after the setback.

"It’s the life of a goalkeeper," said the Albion head coach. "It’s the life of a young goalkeeper that you have to take some adversity at times, some challenging moments.

"And it’s always about how you respond. A career isn’t built on success only, it’s built on moments like today, moments where confidence isn’t as high or form isn’t as good.

"That’s how young players develop and grow and we’ll support him and have the utmost faith and belief in him. We love him for what he has done with us, he’s been fantastic.

"It’s upsetting for him at the moment but he’ll get back stronger."