West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

EXCLUSIVE: West Ham, Leeds chasing durable midfielder dreaming of second Prem shot

Josh Cullen and Thorgan Hazard

Former West Ham starlet Josh Cullen is being hunted by a host of English clubs looking to bring him back to England, TEAMtalk understands.

Cullen was on West Ham’s books between 2015-20, though spent the vast majority of his time there out on loan. Following a successful two-year stint with Charlton Athletic, Cullen joined Belgian giants Anderlecht in 2020 in a permanent deal worth just £500,000.

The 25-year-old made just three appearances for West Ham but has now become a leading light in Belgium under Vincent Kompany.

The 16-times capped Ireland international has become one of the most dominant midfielders in the Belgian top-flight. However, that now leaves Anderlecht facing a battle to retain his services.

We understand that Wolves, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Leeds United, Burnley, Norwich, Fulham and Sheffield United have all been following his progress closely.

Furthermore, it is also understood West Ham have been keeping abreast of his development ahead of a potential return to London.

Cullen’s current deal expires in 2023, and he admitted in an interview last month in Belgium that a move back to England was something on his mind.

Josh Cullen dreaming of fiercer competition

“Of course it would be a dream to play in the Premier League again,” he said.

“As a footballer, you need to want to play against the best players in the best league, and the best league is the Premier League.”

Josh Cullen operates primarily in a defensive role in central midfield. That position can often push footballers to the limit regarding injury, though Cullen has shown he has the durability to withstand the rigours of the engine room.

Indeed, the 25-year-old has played the full 90 minutes in all but one of Anderlecht’s league matches this season.

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