Brighton FC

Robert Sanchez being monitored by Spain and England amid Brighton form

Ali Rampling
Feb 10, 2021, 3:30 PM GMT
Sanchez is being monitored by Spain and England
Sanchez is being monitored by Spain and England / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Robert Sanchez is being monitored by both Spain and England following his rapid ascension into the Brighton first team.

Sanchez was the Seagulls' fifth choice goalkeeper when he returned to the club following his loan spell with Rochdale ahead of the 2020/21 season, but a combination of transfers, injuries and Mat Ryan's loss of form suddenly paved the way to the number one jersey.

The goalkeeper kept four successive Premier League clean sheets in January, before pulling off a number of fine saves during his side's 1-1 draw with Burnley in his most recent top flight outing. Boss Graham Potter hailed him as a 'monster' following his performance against the Clarets.

Sanchez has been one of the surprise performers of the Premier League season
Sanchez has been one of the surprise performers of the Premier League season / Pool/Getty Images

Despite only making his Premier League debut in November, Sanchez's fairytale form has not gone unnoticed at the highest levels. According to the Telegraph's Mike McGrath, the 23-year-old is 'on the radar' of the Spain and England national teams, with the pair both making enquiries about the 23-year-old's international availability.

Sanchez was born in Cartagena in Spain, but moved to England in 2013 aged 15 in order to join the Brighton youth system.

Fifa rules state that an individual is eligible to play for a country if "he has lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant association". Having already lived in the UK for five years, this would technically make Sanchez eligible for both Spain and England.

For Spain, Sanchez would likely find himself behind Manchester United's David De Gea, Roma's Pau Lopez and Athletic Bilbao's Unai Simon in the goalkeeping pecking order. De Gea and Lopez are seven and three years older than him, while Simon is the same age.

Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Dean Henderson are currently England boss Gareth Southgate's first choice goalkeepers. Pickford and Pope are three and five years older than the Brighton stopper, while Henderson is the same age.

One stumbling block to eligibility for England however is theHome Nations’ Agreement that the FA first entered into with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1993 - which is an arrangement among the UK and Irish national teams to limit the naturalisation of foreign born players.

Read more: see here for a full starting XI of foreign players linked with a call-up to England over the years.