Losing Josh Cullen would see West Ham take another negative step on squad building

West Ham’s deadline is set to be pretty busy, but we could see another youngster leave the club for a fee below market value.

West Ham look like they’re close to selling Josh Cullen to Anderlecht before the window closes. Despite reports saying we’re closing in on players looking to expand the squad and improve the first team. But there’s been nothing concrete and time is running out, so forgive me if I don’t have much hope that things are going to happen.

If you’ve been reading the website over the summer, you will have likely seen my calls for squad building at West Ham to improve. Nothing drastic, just not having fringe players on massive wages and ensuring the players we sign are actually here to improve the options we have. So for me, selling a homegrown, low wage player capable of supplementing the first team squad like Josh Cullen and keeping a player like Jack Wilshere is just foolish.

First of all, I know there’s only a year left on his contract, but we’re not talking about a huge loss here if we don’t sell him now. The reported fee is 800k, and although he could leave for free at the end of the season we’re a club that should be able to absorb that kind of loss moving forward. I could understand if it was a fee of around 5-10m, as this would cover the Vladimir Coufal move or some of the COVID losses.

Secondly, we’re only a couple of injuries away from relying on players out of position. Jack Wilshere is continuously injured and seems a shadow of his former self, Mark Noble isn’t the versatile midfielder he used to be and only has a year or two left playing the game. Josh Cullen offers a genuinely versatile option, someone who is close to the club and would be a lot cheaper than any outside option brought in. A multi-year deal for Cullen would ensure the club has cover at a fair price moving forward.

And once again, we’re sending a message to the academy that unless they are absolute stars they will be sold on. The loyalty and time spent at the club getting to know everyone is completely useless. You won’t be kept around to help the club, just sold off to help balance books because of poor business decisions by the board. How is this going to encourage youngsters to come through the ranks?

Time and time again the board actively undo the fabric of the club. Selling one more youngster is one more nail in the coffin.