The West Ham career of Josh Cullen was already looking bleak but it seems another nail has been put in the coffin as Conor Coventry is reportedly being fast-tracked to the first team.
Reliable Hammers source EXWhuEmployee previously stated on Twitter that they imagine the Hammers had seen the last of Cullen following him completing a loan move to Charlton Athletic as the 23-year-old’s contract is set to expire next summer.
However, despite this ominous outlook for Cullen, it’s worth noting that the midfielder had a small glimmer of hope that his Hammers career wasn’t over for sure as FootballFanCast previously reported that the Hammers had the option to recall him in January.
Yet it seems that little glimmer of light is a little bit darker for Cullen after Football Insider reported on the Hammers’ current plans for Coventry.
Football Insider reported on Saturday that the 19-year-old Hammers defensive midfielder was set to be fast-tracked into the first-team after impressing Manuel Pellegrini.
The reliable football outlet claimed that Coventry had done enough to convince Pellegrini in training that he could feature for the first team, and as a result was now on a similar path to the one Decan Rice took on his way to breaking into the first-team.
When you consider Pellegrini opted to loan Cullen out to Charlton after watching him feature in pre-season, but is willing to block Coventry’s exit due to rating him, then it shows how the 23-year-old is now behind the teenager in the club’s pecking order.
Cullen has only ever featured nine times for the Hammers’ senior side and you feel that after not getting into Pellegrini’s plans after impressing for Charlton while on loan with them last season, the writing is on the wall.
The 23-year-old played 35 times, while assisting six and registering one, and seemed to prove his worth as a defensive-minded midfielder while with the London club.
After all, Cullen was still a creative force despite 14 of his outings last season seeing him deployed as a defensive midfielder (Source: Transfermarkt).
Yet unless he drastically improves in Pellegrini’s eyes while out on loan this season, he’s made three appearances and averaged a rating of 6.75 thus far (Source: WhoScored), given that Coventry is being considered good enough to feature for the first-team despite being a teenager, it’s looking more and more likely Cullen’s long-term future lies elsewhere.