West Ham midfielder Josh Cullen could make his senior international debut tonight. Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has hinted that Cullen could get some action, West Ham’s official website reports.
Cullen has spent the season on loan at Charlton Athletic and he thoroughly impressed. The 23-year-old dictated play in midfield and helped the Addicks to promotion via the play-offs.
After 35 games, two goals and seven assists, Cullen’s season culminated in Wembley glory. Cullen played a pivotal role in a dramatic 94th-minute winner as his cross led to Patrick Bauer’s goal with seconds remaining.
And this has earned him a call-up to McCarthy’s senior Republic of Ireland squad. Having played for the Boys in Green at youth level, Cullen could now be set to make his senior bow.
Mick McCarthy on Josh Cullen
The Republic of Ireland host Gibraltar tonight in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. After earning a draw against Denmark, McCarthy’s men now have the chance to move six points clear of Switzerland at the top of Group D.
As reported by whufc.com, McCarthy said: “Josh has been excellent, and had made a really valid case to get a game. But you could argue that the midfield players have been as good as any part of the team.
“Glenn [Whelan] has been excellent, Conor [Hourihane] scored a winner and so did Jeff [Hendrick]. Making a case for him is fine but you’re making the case against some very good players.”
Josh Cullen: make-or-break in 2019/20
Cullen will be handed a chance to impress in pre-season by Manuel Pellegrini. But this will be a make-or-break season for the young midfielder.
After loan spells with Bradford City, Bolton Wanderers and Charlton, he now needs to prove he can step up to Premier League level. West Ham need a central midfielder and Cullen’s task will be to convince Pellegrini he is good enough.
If he fails to impress in pre-season, he could move on permanently with Charlton bound to be keen to bring him back. But if he catches Pellegrini’s eye, he could enjoy a Grady Diangana-style rise to the first-team.