Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy took the opportunity to see what his fringe players could do in last night’s friendly against Bulgaria.
He was rewarded with a 3-1 victory on a night where five players, including Josh Cullen, made their senior debuts – giving the supporters a glimpse into the future.
Cullen is on loan at Charlton Athletic in the Championship from West Ham, where he has been a highly-rated prospect for years and continued his progression with a debut man of the match display.
After all the fuss around Declan Rice changing his allegiance away from the Republic of Ireland to play for England, perhaps the Hammers will provide a long-term option for the Boys in Green’s midfield after all.
Perhaps Cullen could have been a better option at the London Stadium than the likes of Carlos Sanchez but he is clearly making the most of his time on loan and is now making waves on the international stage.
Many Ireland fans took to Twitter to rave about Cullen’s maiden display, where the 23-year-old shone the brightest as a new generation of Irish talent offered an exciting glimpse of days to come.
— TelMc (@TelMc1) September 10, 2019
You love to see it #cafc
— JimBob54463261 (@CafcJimB) September 10, 2019
I like this kid should play before any of the starters in midfield in the last game tbh.
— SiobhanC1 (@SiobhanC1) September 10, 2019
Very well deserved. Really tidy performance. Hopefully he can push on now.
— Green Scouser (@Green_Scouser) September 10, 2019
Great game well done lads
— Devout Gaming (@DevoutGaming) September 10, 2019
Never in doubt! He is a serious footballer! 👍🏼
— Anthony Penton (@AntPent) September 10, 2019
MoM too. Well done Josh
— Tony Pezzolesi (@TonyHammer61) September 11, 2019
Future England international
— J (@whufc98) September 11, 2019