Jeremy Sarmiento has revealed his colleague and best mate is inspiring him to shine for Albion and Ecuador.

The winger and his family have been helping Moises Caicedo settle into English life after his move from South America.

Sarmiento and Caicedo are close mates off the pitch and are currently away with their national team.

Caicedo has made a huge impression with the Seagulls and is a mainstay of La Tri.

He played the full game as Ecuador beat Cape Verde 1-0 in a friendly in Florida last night.

Sarmiento has not reached that level yet and has been impeded by injury.

But he is back in action after his latest hamstring issue, havving played the first half last night, and has set sights high.

Caicedo spent the first half of last season on loan at Beerschot.

Sarmiento said: “When I knew he was coming back from Belgium, from the first minute I was with him.

“Helping him with whatever.

“I also learn a lot from him on the pitch.

“He is playing all the matches and he is tearing it up and that pushes me to be in the team with him on the same pitch.

“It is fantastic to have a friend who I can share things with at Brighton and in the Ecuador squad.”

Sarmiento was first to make his Prem debut – and was handed a first start at West Ham on December 1.

A hamstring injury early in that game blew a big hole in his season.

He suffered a similar, but less serious, setback when he suddenly pulled up when playing for the under-23s at home to Chelsea late in the campaign.

While not a major blow, it was enough to end his club season.

But Ecuador boss Gustavo Alfaro has used him as a sub in recent friendlies against Nigeria and Mexico in the United States.

From New Jersey and Chicago, Ecuador have now moved south to Fort Lauderdale to play Cape Verde over the weekend.

Sarmiento loves the fact they have stuck with him during his injury problems.

He said: “When I made my debut with Brighton, from what they tell me, I think they were watching as well.

“They got in contact with my dad, with the club, with me.

“They offered me the chance to go to qualifiers against Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela.

“I was surprised, to tell the truth.

“It was very quick, I didn’t expect it.

“But I could see they had this trust in me that Gustavo still has.

“I thank him a lot, not only him but the staff and coaches as well.

“I’ve had injuries and it has not been easy for me and they know I’m not at my maximum yet, still recovering.

“But they still keep me in mind.

“They still have this confidence in me.


“I’m very grateful for this chance to help the team get as far as possible. I’m happy.”

Sarmiento was born to Ecuadorean parents in Madrid.

He spent about a decade in London, followed by a stint in Lisbon playing for Benfica. Three countries were keen on getting him involved in their national set-ups.

He said: “When I first came to Brighton, England called me and so did Spain.

“But I always had this dream of representing my country and also my parents’ country and making them happy as well.

“I feel more at home with the Ecuador national team.

“The atmosphere there is different to, for example, people here.

“Here people are colder.

“There, you go in the changing room and everyone is dancing (laughs) and doing stuff, it’s good to be in this atmosphere.

“My time with the Ecuador squad has been phenomenal.”