If Saturday’s 3-1 win against Stoke City is anything to go by, Charlton Athletic fans should have no concerns about Josh Cullen’s ability to make a difference at Championship level.
The West Ham United loanee was influential as The Addicks stormed back to the second tier last season and any doubts about whether he could make the step up have now been dispelled in typically emphatic fashion.
Making his first appearance of the season since returning to The Valley for a second spell, the 23-year-old was the best midfielder on the pitch against an experienced and much-fancied Stoke side containing Joe Allen, Ryan Woods and £8 million Sam Clucas.
Two tackles, one interception, an 85 per cent pass completion rate and a thrusting run down the flank which led to Chuks Aneke’s first goal in Charlton colours, Cullen produced an all-action display which sent Addicks fans into meltdown on social media.
Cullen different class but permanent player then taylor or phillips is jokes— FIN (@CafcFin) August 11, 2019
I think Josh Cullen’s performance yesterday was all round one of the best I’ve ever seen. He was ridiculous #cafc— Jonni Jones GM (@jonnijonesdj) August 11, 2019
#cafc out of ten yesterday— hendrik johan (@HJCruyff) August 11, 2019
Phillips 3 near post goal
Solly 5 slow
Lockyea 5 silly mistakes
Pearce 7 solid
Purrington 6 tidy
Williams 8 quality
Gallagher 8 brilliant
Cullen 9 wonderful
Pratley 8 splendid
Taylor 7 lazy at times
Leko 6 final ball??
Cullen was brilliant. Got to the space just b for stoke passed the ball in it and cut it out . And didn’t stop running .— James Torrison (@CAFCTorrison) August 10, 2019
Speaking to London News Online after an eye-catching win, Cullen admitted that the opportunity to continue his development under Lee Bowyer, himself a former Premier League and international midfielder, was key to his decision to choose Charlton over a host of other options over the summer.
One game into 2019/20, Cullen’s decision already looks like an inspired one.
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