West Ham midfielder departs on loan, future looks uncertain beyond 2020

West Ham United midfielder Josh Cullen has joined Charlton Athletic on loan for the second successive season, as confirmed by the club’s official website.

The Hammers have allowed the 23-year-old to continue his development under the tutelage of former player Lee Bowyer, following his successful 2018/19 campaign at the Valley.

Cullen spent the season with Charlton and helped the club gain promotion to the Championship, as the West Ham midfielder made 32 appearances and helped them manoeuvre their way through play-offs.

Despite not getting an opportunity with the Hammers, his performances last season earned him his first-call up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad, after captaining the U21 side.

While Cullen has enjoyed success during his spell on loan away from West Ham, the midfielder has failed to make an impact at the London Stadium in recent years.

The academy graduate has only managed nine appearances for the club since his breakthrough to the first team, with his last Hammers outing coming in April 2018 as he featured in a 1-1 draw away to Chelsea.

Cullen will feel this is his last chance to impress West Ham and make a claim for a berth in Manuel Pellegrini’s side, as his current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2020.

The 23-year-old will be completing his fifth loan spell away from the Hammers and his second with Charlton, as he first spent time away from his parent club in 2016.

Cullen spent the back end of the 2015/16 season with Bradford, when he made 18 appearances in League One before returning for a full season and making a further 46 appearances, scoring his only goal in a 2-1 win over MK Dons.

The West Ham midfielder then spent six months in the Championship with Bolton, featuring just 12 times, before helping Charlton to promotion.

It’s hard to see Cullen having a future at the Hammers, as they have chosen instead to invest heavily during the transfer window, and his performances this season could dictate where he ends up beyond 2020.