Cullen ‘still on’ his journey to be a regular in West Ham’s midfield

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 August 2018

West Ham United's Josh Cullen during the pre-season match against Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park (pic: Chris Radburn/PA Images).

West Ham United's Josh Cullen during the pre-season match against Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park (pic: Chris Radburn/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

The 22-year-old discussed the prospect of leaving the club on loan and working with Manuel Pellegrini

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini (pic:Nigel/PA)West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini (pic:Nigel/PA)

Josh Cullen has reiterated a desire to force his way into the West Ham United team, but will not put a time limit on it.

The academy graduate made his Hammers debut on July 2 2015 in the Europa League and since then has made a further eight appearances for the club.

Cullen last featured for West Ham competitively away to Chelsea last season and in this campaign has turned out twice for the under-23s.

When recently discussing his ambitions at the club, the midfielder said: “The target is to always get in the first team, that’s the journey I started when I first signed up with the academy. It is a journey I am still on.

“I haven’t really put a time limit on it, I am still striving for it and whether I play for the under-23s or go out on loan or stay and learn off a top, experienced manager and the brilliant players we have at the club, whatever is best for me, I will do it.

“I will take the advice of the manager to help me develop, but the end target is to play for West Ham and be in the first team.”

While the London Stadium club have not made the best of starts to the new season, Cullen is still excited by the prospect of working with boss Manuel Pellegrini.

The 22-year-old admitted he is eager to impress the one-time Premier League winner, adding: “The gaffer’s experience and the clubs he has managed speaks for itself.

“I want to take every bit of knowledge I can from him. I want to listen to what he puts across to me on the training pitch and the rest of the lads and if I do that it can only help me going forward.

“I am really excited and lucky to be learning off such an experienced, well-known manager.”

During the last three terms, Cullen has gone out on loan and impressed with Bradford City in League One on two occasions and enjoyed a spell at Bolton Wanderers in the Championship last season.

If Pellegrini feels the young midfielder would benefit from another spell away from the club, the Republic of Ireland under-21 international will listen to the Hammers boss.

Cullen said: “There have been conversations going on, but it is not totally decided if I am going or staying.

“At the minute I am here and just taking each day as it comes and trying to impress the manager.

“First and foremost I want to be playing in the West Ham first-team, but if he says to me ‘the right loan move is there, go out and get some games until January and then come back and we’ll look at it’ then that is what I will do. Nothing has been decided yet.”

If Cullen does remain part of the group at Rush Green, he will look to learn from the experienced players at the club.

West Ham signed Jack Wilshere from Arsenal this summer and although it is direct competition for the youngster, he is happy to learn from the England international.

“To have brilliant players like Jack and other new signings and the rest of the players at the club has created a real buzz around the squad and in training you can see the quality of the players now at the club,” Cullen said.

“Training with them every day and being in and around them and learning off them can only help and improve myself.”

Charlton Athletic are one of a number of clubs interesting in signing Cullen on loan.

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