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Former Hammer Josh Cullen has come on leaps and bounds since his arrival at Anderlecht. The former Belgian giants both domestically and in Europe have benefited from the midfielder’s energetic enthusiasm.
Anderlecht is currently in 4th place in the Belgian Pro League chasing a Europa League spot. Manager Vincent Kompany has built a young team in the Belgian capital with an average age of 23.
He has hailed Cullen as being a central figure in the team’s greater pursuits this season.
“He never wins the man-of-the-match award, but he’s one of the most popular guys in the squad,”
Cullen spent nearly 15 years at West Ham before a loan spell to Charlton in league one garnered widespread attention. The Irishman was one of the central figures at the Addicts, leading them to the Championship via the playoffs.
Upon returning to West Ham after two years at Charlton, he was determined to make it in the Premier League. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be as he moved to Belgium to work under one of Man City’s greatest ever defenders.
“To come and learn from him every day, you just need to be like a sponge and soak it all up. It’s something I’m really enjoying.”
Pursuing World Cup qualifiers
Cullen’s performances at Anderlecht have led to 4 international caps and regular call ups with Ireland. Since being bought by Anderlecht in October of last year, he has made over 15 appearances, performing brilliantly. In Cullen’s last appearance before a minor ankle injury, Kompany was full of praise for his toughness.
“Against Genk, for example, he hit his head, and they put a bandage on him. Because I know he is of Irish descent and tough as iron, I slapped him on his bandage and said with a laugh, ‘Are you okay? Come on, run then, and stop making excuses.”
After a fortnight out injured, he returned to the starting eleven in Anderlecht’s 2-1 win over champions Genk on Sunday. The Irishman is aiming to make the squad now for Irelands World Cup qualifiers in March. Stephen Kenny’s side will take on Serbia and Luxemburg in their opening games.
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