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All you need to know about the Ireland U19 starlet who made his debut at Anfield yesterday

Josh Cullen was brought on by Slaven Bilic.

Cullen in pre-season.
Cullen in pre-season.
Image: Steven Paston

Updated at 11.37

IT WAS AN historic day for West Ham on Saturday as they won at Anfield for the first time in 52 years.

But it will be even more memorable for Ireland U19 international Josh Cullen.

Having made his first competitive start for the Hammers in the their Europa League tie against FC Lusitans earlier this month, the young midfielder then made his Premier League debut in the 3-0 win over Liverpool yesterday.

Cullen replaced Diafra Sako in injury time at Anfield but there was still enough time for him to get a touch of the ball and cap an indelible day for the Irish underage international.

Unless you’re a totally hardcore West Ham/Ireland fan, you probably don’t know much about Cullen, and with that in mind, we have gathered together some info on the highly-rated 19-year-old…

  • He previously represented England at U16 level, but has since switched international allegiances, playing for the Ireland U18s and U19s subsequently.
  • His non-competitive first-team debut for the Hammers came in a friendly against Stevenage last July.
  • Cullen secured the Dylan Tombides Award for West Ham’s Academy’s player of the season in 2013-14.

Source: West Ham United FC/YouTube

  • He plays in central midfield and was born on 7 April, 1996.
  • Cullen was happy with how the games in recent weeks have gone, telling West Ham’s official website: “I was delighted to play at Upton Park last week and now to make my full debut is great. I thought I did fairly well. It was a tough game. I think there’s more to come from myself and more to come to from the other younger lads.” On new manager Slaven Bilic, he added: “Everyone has tried to impress him, he’s got a great presence about him. I’ve enjoyed working with him so far and hopefully that continues.”
  • He was born on Southend-on-Sea but qualifies for Ireland through the granny rule.
  • Cullen’s father, Anthony, was among the 500 West Ham supporters who made the trip to Andorra to watch his Europa League debut. “I haven’t had a chance to speak to my dad yet, he’s had to shoot off,” Cullen said after the game. “He’s got a 22-hour coach journey to get home. He made the trip to come out and watch me so I’m very grateful.”
  • Cullen is one of three Irish players in contention for a first-team spot this season, with goalkeeper Darren Randolph and defender Joey O’Brien also likely to be vying for a place in the side.
  • He has a pretty decent shot on him.

Source: West Ham United FC/YouTube

- A version of this article was published on 11 July 2015.

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Paul Fennessy

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