Jayson Molumby has set his sights on first-team football – with Albion or elsewhere.

The midfielder was named one of the top four players at the Toulon tournament after skippering Republic of Ireland under-21s to the semi-finals.

He believes he has come back mentally stronger from a knee injury which kept him out for 15 months.

The next goal is to catch the eye of new Seagulls head coach Graham Potter in pre-season.

Potter has a reputation for trusting young players while Albion are also seeking Championship loans for some of their leading under-23s.

Molumby said: "We’ll see what happens.

"I’m 20 in August, so I’m pushing on, I need to get first-team games under my belt, so whether that’s at Brighton or somewhere else, we’ll have to see, but I’m just looking forward to getting first-team games."

He added: "Obviously, being injured, I learned a lot about myself, about football, that football can be a ruthless game.

"I think that’s made me stronger mentally and to come back and be straight into the Ireland set-up is just unbelievable.

"I couldn’t be happier with my return to football."

Molumby's heat map from the Republic's 4-1 win over China attracted a lot of attention when it appeared on social media as he covered almost every blade of grass between the two penalty areas.

In an interview for breakingthelines.com, he said: "I think three games and three 90 minutes in six days is hard, especially in this heat.

"It's a lot of demand in my body.

"I haven’t experienced anything like this since coming back, and I’m only back for three to four months, so touch wood, that’s it, and I can continue to play freely and injury-free."

Molumby started League Cup ties against Barnet and Bournemouth almost two years ago but injury has so far denied him the chance of further senior outings.

His under-23s colleague Anders Dreyer featured for Denmark against Germany in the UEFA Euro U21 Championship, being staged in Italy, last night.

Tudor Baluta, the midfield protege of Gheorghe Hagi who Albion signed in January, is expected to start for Romania's under-21s in the same tournament as they face Croatia. The four-team group also includes England and France.