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International Focus: Josh Cullen could make Republic of Ireland debut against Bulgaria
Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

International Focus: Josh Cullen could make Republic of Ireland debut against Bulgaria

West Ham loanee Josh Cullen is in line to make his international debut tonight. The Republic of Ireland face Bulgaria in an international friendly – five days after earning a draw against Switzerland.

Cullen was an unused substitute in Thursday night’s European qualifier against Switzerland. This prevented him from winning his first competitive cap and commit to the Boys in Green – unlike Hammers colleague Declan Rice.

But Cullen will now be aiming to exert similar influence to Rice if he plays against Bulgaria. Rice produced a commanding display in the middle of the park as England beat Bulgaria 4-0 on Saturday. If Cullen can replicate that performance, he will enjoy an impressive international debut.

Josh Cullen: Make-or-break season

(Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

It looked like Cullen would be given a chance at West Ham this season when Manuel Pellegrini included him in the pre-season tours to Switzerland and China. But just after the season started, the 23-year-old was sent on loan to Championship new boys Charlton Athletic.

Charlton fans love Cullen as he played a pivotal role in their promotion last season. This term, he has started in strong fashion, playing the full 90 minutes in every Championship game he has been around for. With Cullen in the middle, Charlton sit second in the Championship.

But Cullen’s West Ham contract is due to expire at the end of the season. This means the 2019/20 campaign if make-or-break for his Hammers career. But maintaining his impressive form for Charlton and performing on the international stage could just earn him an extension.