Spain boss Luis Enrique sends Brighton's Robert Sanchez surprise message after call-up
The remarkable rise of Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez continued today as he was called up to the Spain squad for their next three World Cup qualifying matches
Sanchez, 23, was named in the Spain squad for the first time and will compete for a spot alongside Manchester United's David De Gea and Athletic Bilbao's Unai Simon.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, the £71.6m keeper who has struggled for form and game time at Chelsea, has been omitted from Enrique's squad for the upcoming matches against Greece, Georgia and Kosovo.
Sanchez is also eligible to represent England but if selected for Spain in any of the next three matches, it would end any chance of him playing for England in future.
Sanchez was on loan a League One Rochdale last campaign and was Brighton's No 3 at the start of the season, well behind Australian international Maty Ryan and the experienced Jason Steele.
The 6ft 6in Spaniard was handed a surprise debut by head coach Graham Potter in the 2-1 loss at Tottenham last November and has since established himself as the No 1 at Brighton.
The club have huge faith in their academy graduate and allowed their previous No 1 Ryan to join Arsenal on loan last January.
Sanchez is a composed and powerful presence in the Albion goal and quickly gained the trust of the senior players. He has displayed his agility and shot stopping capabilities on numerous occasions since breaking into the first team and has six clean sheets in 17 appearances.
His one major blip came during the 2-1 loss against Leicester last week when he completely missed a late corner into the box but he recovered well and was excellent once more for Brighton as they recorded a deserved 2-1 victory at Southampton yesterday.
“Robert has appeared in the Premier League and we have gathered information about him from previous years." Enrique said:
“He is a young player with a great deal of potential. An interesting player.
“We are delighted to bring him into the squad and that he can show us his potential.”