It’s fast approaching one year since wonderkid Josh Cullen first joined Bradford City on loan.
When the midfielder first arrived on the scene at Bradford City, it’s fair to say that many fans had never even heard the name ‘Josh Cullen’ before. Since then, it’s been a meteoric rise for Cullen at the club where he is now adored with fans singing out his name week after week.
It was former manager Phil Parkinson who initially brought the breathless midfielder to the club. The little wizard initially joined the Bantams on loan last February, just a day before they locked horns with play-off rivals Peterborough.
With spirits dipping around the club at this point, a win looked highly unlikely. However with the influence of new boy Cullen, the team romped to a 4-0 win at London Road. Alongside his fellow West Ham loanee Reece Burke, Cullen then played a key part in the Bradford side which finished the season in the play-off places, before ultimately missing out at the hands of Millwall.
While Burke received most of the plaudits, picking up numerous awards at the end of the season, Cullen himself had consistently impressed in his first loan spell with a Football League club.
Both Burke and Cullen returned to West Ham at the end of the season, after their loan spells ended. While Burke went on to join Championship Wigan Athletic, the prospect of another spell in West Yorkshire was too good for Cullen to turn down. Despite Championship interest, new manager Stuart McCall managed to bag Cullen for another spell at the club.
This loan ran until January but after becoming a key part of the side for the second season in a row, extending this loan became a priority for the club once the January transfer window opened. This aim came to fruition, with Cullen extending his loan until the end of the season early on in the window.
This term, Cullen has gone above and beyond his performances which put him on the map last season. The little terrier of a midfielder has been an ever present in the Bradford side which sits comfortably in the play-offs once again.
The midfielder has 30 appearances under his belt already, scoring one goal in this time. These performances have put his man of the match tally well into double figures. It’s fair to say Cullen has become a cult hero at the West Yorkshire club, even earning his own Dimitri Payet style chant from the Bradford faithful. The youngster already looks like a favourite to pick up plenty of awards at the end of the season, much like Reece Burke did last season.
Cullen’s meteoric rise at Bradford hasn’t gone unnoticed with fans of both his current club and parent club, West Ham, praising the central midfielder regularly on Twitter throughout this season.
I'll die the day @JoshCullen8 leaves city. in my 20 years of watching us I've never seen a better/smarter player, world class
— jojo (@joely_lowery) January 7, 2017
Talk about an old head on young shoulders. Josh Cullen is a star of the future at the highest level. #bcafc
— ᴀᴀʀᴏɴ ʙᴏᴡᴇʀ (@AaronBower) January 7, 2017
— Let's Get Hammered (@GetHammeredFP) February 2, 2017
— liam (@liam1456) February 7, 2017
— Bradford City AFC (@officialbantams) February 7, 2017
With the Bantams flying high, Cullen’s performances will undoubtedly play a key part in Bradford’s promotion push between now and the end of the season. After two successful spells at City and with many West Ham fans calling for Slaven Bilic to give Cullen a chance, there’d be no better parting gift from Cullen than to play a part in their promotion back to the Championship.