Brighton winger Jeremy Sarmiento came off the bench for Ecuador in the World Cup opener against Qatar, but had things been different he might be representing Rangers at the biggest party on Earth.

According to the player’s father, Rangers were one of a number of top clubs interested in securing the services of the Spanish-born attacker before he signed on with the Seagulls.

Qatar v Ecuador: Group A - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Eligible for Spain through birthright and Ecuador through his parents, Jeremy Sarmiento also represented England at youth international level.

And it’s during his time with the Three Lions that the 20-year-old attacker is said to have caught the eye of Rangers with the player’s father claiming Ibrox was one of four potential destinations as a teenager.

Beaming with pride, the player’s dad also claimed that he always told his son that he’d play in the World Cup and in Ecuador’s 2-0 win over Qatar that dream became a reality.

Jeremy Sarmiento once wanted by Rangers

“We moved to London when he was seven and he played a lot of street football there,” said the father of Jeremy Sarmiento.

”When he was older, he got noticed and he had four offers of contracts from clubs – Chelsea, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Rangers.

“He wanted to stay in London and signed for Charlton.

“He had the opportunity to play Under 19s for Ecuador, Spain and England. I always told him he would play in a World Cup one day.

“And he has managed it with Ecuador – my country.”

Jeremy Sarmiento came off the bench for Ecuador with 20 minutes to play as they defeated Qatar 2-0 in the World Cup opener in Al Kohr, with Fenerbahce striker and national captain Enner Valencia netting both goals.

The winger is one of three Brighton stars representing Ecuador at the World Cup with the AMEX Stadium something of a safe haven for players from the South American country.

Felipe Caicedo and Pervis Estupiñán complete the Brighton connection, with Sarmiento moving to the club as a youth following three years in the Benfica system. The player has 10 caps for the Ecuador national team.

Meanwhile, Rangers continue to be linked to an English Championship striker taking the division by storm.

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