Interviews

Jeremy Sarmiento "thankful" for De Zerbi's support

21-year-old praises Roberto after signing his new contract.

By Matt Bishop • 24 June 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Sarmiento made 13 appearances under De Zerbi last season.

Jeremy Sarmiento has thanked Roberto De Zerbi and his staff – along with the Albion fans – for their support after he signed a new four-year contract with the club. 

Despite seeing his season curtailed by an injury sustained on international duty in March, Sarmiento enjoyed a memorable 2022-23 campaign for club and country, making 13 appearances in all competitions for De Zerbi’s side and representing Ecuador at the World Cup.

It was a breakout year for the 21-year-old, and he has thanked our Italian head coach, the backroom staff and the Albion faithful for their help along the way. 

Sarmiento said, “Roberto is a really good guy. I enjoy his character and he’s the one who has given me my opportunities. I’m so thankful for that and I’m ready to push on next season.

“I feel like I’ve made a big step up in my career over the last 12 months. Going to the World Cup was an amazing moment, something I’ve always dreamed of, and with Brighton, I feel like I’ve really progressed. 

“The way the manager and his staff express themselves has helped me. As a squad we have adapted to their style of play and personally they’ve helped me as a player. The instructions Roberto has given me, whether I’m on the wing or more central, have helped massively. 

“He’s given me confidence and I’ve made big strides forward. I want to thank him and his staff, the squad and also the fans, who really helped me during my injury. I’m really pleased to sign a new deal and want to show everyone the real me. Bring on next season.”

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While the World Cup was an undoubted high for Sarmiento, the forward revealed his Albion highlight was Kaoru Mitoma’s last-gasp winner against Bournemouth in February. 

He explained, “Our win against Bournemouth has got to be my favourite moment of the year.

“I came off the bench that day and just tried my best to make an impact and help the team. 

“We really needed the points and a win, and I had 20 minutes to help achieve that. When I crossed the ball and saw Kaoru [Mitoma] head it in, everyone went crazy. To play my part was special and it was a vital three points.”

Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupinan - Sarmiento’s Ecuadorian compatriots – also played a big role in that victory over the Cherries, with Caicedo welcomed back into the side after the January transfer window and Estupinan making a brilliant block to deny Antoine Semenyo. 

Sarmiento loves playing with the La Tri duo, as well as our other South American stars such as Julio Enciso and Facundo Buonanotte. 

“It's good to have different backgrounds and players from different countries in and around the team. You learn about players and people that way. 

“Moises and Pervis are really good guys, I love spending time with them and playing with them. They’re humble and I enjoy my time with them at Brighton and with the national team. 

“It’s the same with Julio and Facundo. There’s never been as many South Americans as there is now, which shows that South American football is evolving and improving. 

“Hopefully we can keep improving together next season.”