BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Josh Cullen had a number of options available to him when deciding where to move this summer – but felt The Valley was the place for him.
The 23-year-old West Ham midfielder had hoped he’d be able to make a mark in the first team at the London Stadium this year. But when Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini gave him the green light to look elsewhere, returning to the club he helped to secure promotion to the Championship last season seemed the obvious choice.
“I was told all summer that they weren’t going to let me out on loan, which I was happy with thinking I’d be in and around it at West Ham,” explained Cullen, who was brought straight back into the Charlton side by boss Lee Bowyer for their 3-1 win over Stoke City on Saturday.
“But I had a conversation that I thought I need to be playing to continue my development. So, Tuesday morning after training, the manager at West Ham spoke to me and said ‘I think it’s best you go out, carry on playing in the Championship and get some more games.’ Once that happened, there was a few decisions to make but Wednesday afternoon I had the medical and signed.
“There was a few other options throughout the summer and a couple of options I had to have a think about on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. But I felt that knowing the manager as well as I do from last season, knowing how he wants his teams to play which suits me. Knowing how he wants me to play. I felt like I improved under him last season as a player, him being in a similar position to me I just felt like it was the right place to come back. I know the place, I know everyone around the place.
“That was another massive factor as to why I chose to come back to Charlton, to work under the manager. He knows what he’s going to get from me, I know what he wants me to do and how he wants me to go about my business. To come back in and go straight back into the team, I was delighted with and delighted to help the lads build on a great result last week and get another three points.”
PHOTOS BY PAUL EDWARDS