Wednesday 26 October 2016

Bright future in green for Hammers kid Josh

Josh Cullen
Josh Cullen

Irish prospect Josh Cullen has a big future in the game, according to his West Ham team-mate and compatriot Darren Randolph.

And, with more attention on the teenager in the wake of his Premier League debut for West Ham at the weekend, the FAI are confident there will be no repeat of the Jack Gralish situation and that Londoner Cullen is very much committed to the Irish cause.

Cullen, 19, had already played for the Hammers in the Europa League this season but he came off the bench for his Premier League debut in Saturday's win over Liverpool, only the third Irish teenager to play in the English top flight in the last four seasons.

The English FA have moved to keep dual-eligibility players like Grealish, Patrick Bamford and Nathan Redmond in their international set-up but Cullen is sticking with Ireland and is expected to make his U21 debut in games against Qatar and Andorra in the next week.

"I played with him in the Europa League and have trained with him, is a top player," says Cullen's Hammers team-mate Randolph.

"He can go to the very, very top, I would like to think he will get a game, or a start, at some point this season, he is a very good player and he has everything you need."

Meanwhile, Georgia coach Kakhaber Tskhadadze has in desperation recalled veteran Zurab Khizanishvili for their Euro qualifiers against Scotland and Ireland. Now 33, the ex-Blackburn man was last capped in 2013.

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