The West Ham youngster made his debut for the senior side this season.
He said: “I think a lot of the lads getting first team has helped a lot with confidence and self-belief. It’s a shame we got knocked out because the more experience we could have got the better. “The Europa League was a great experience; playing in a packed Upton Park was a fantastic experience I’ll never forget. That’ll stand us in good stead for the U21 season.”
19-year-old Cullen captained the Hammers’ Under-21 side on Monday afternoon as they fell to a defeat to West Brom.
He made his senior debut earlier this season in the Europa League, making three appearances in the midfield of Slaven Bilic’s side. He is considered one of the best talents in the West Ham academy, and impressed in his first-team performances.
Cullen is correct to suggest that the first-team experience will aid him in Under-21 action, with the opposition faced in Europe a tough proposition. He has come up against challenging sides in tough atmospheres, and did well enough to suggest he could play a domestic first-team role this term.
Cullen will continue his development in the Hammers’ academy side this season, but the real aim for him is to start featuring under Bilic as the campaign progresses.
He certainly appears to possess all the talent required to feature at first-team level, and if he carries on playing well with the Under-21’s, it should not be too long before he is playing for the senior team again.