Josh Cullen returns to Charlton Athletic on season-long loan


Josh Cullen has re-joined EFL Championship club Charlton Athletic on a season-long loan. The Republic of Ireland U21 captain will link up with former West Ham United player and current Charlton manager Lee Bowyer for a second time, having played an influential role as the Addicks won promotion from League One via the Play-Offs last term. The 23-year-old midfielder excelled at The Valley, where he became a firm favourite among Charlton supporters, making 32 appearances and earning a first call-up to the senior Ireland squad. Cullen has played nine times for the Hammers competitively, most recently in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Chelsea in April 2018. The Essex-born player has played in the Championship previously, making 12 appearances for Bolton Wanderers in late 2017. West Ham United would like to wish Josh all the best for his second loan spell in south London.


‘Signing Gonçalo Cardoso is very, very good business’


West Ham United have done ‘very, very good business’ in signing hugely promising Portuguese defender Gonçalo Cardoso. That is the informed opinion of respected Portuguese football expert Aaron Barton, whose website Próxima Jornada provides insight, opinion and features on the Iberian country’s football, in English. Barton believes the transfer of the 18-year-old centre-back Cardoso from Boavista will prove to be a shrewd move by the Hammers. “Cardoso had his first taste of senior football in the 2018/19 season, making his debut for Boavista in October where he played 90 minutes and kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Aves,” Barton began. “Since then he went on to play another 14 games for Boavista, completing 90 minutes on all but one occasion. “His relative inexperience at senior level will mean that he will not be thrown directly into the deep end by West Ham, and for the meantime will provide cover at centre-back, but will be slowly integrated into the first-team setup. “The length of his contract – an initial five years with an additional year if triggered – is a marker of the faith West Ham have in the player and his potential development.”

While most West Ham supporters will have seen precious little of Cardoso in action for Boavista, or the Portugal U19 side, Barton has witnessed the teenager’s talents first-hand and been suitably impressed. “A confident, capable central defender, Cardoso will more often than not attempt to play out of defence, searching for the right ball to move his team up the pitch as opposed to simply ‘getting rid’,” he observed. “Standing at just over 6 foot 2, he has a physical presence at the back, something that will benefit him greatly playing in the Premier League, a faster paced and more physical league to what he is accustomed to. “He is an aggressive defender, which can sometimes lead to him giving away cheap fouls although this is something that will be ironed out as he matures and develops. A key asset is his pace, especially for a central defender, he can get through the gears pretty quick and this helps him with making recovery runs and covering the back-line. “Cardoso was particularly impressive in the recent European Championship finals for the Portugal U19 side. He played 90 minutes in every single match, keeping a clean sheet in three out of the five games he played.”

Gonçalo Cardoso in action for Boavista against Benfica in Portugal’s Primeira Liga

In conclusion, Barton believes West Ham have pulled off something of a coup by snapping up Cardoso ahead of European football’s biggest clubs. He wrote: “What West Ham have purchased is a player who is far from the finished article but a hungry, ambitious player with a very high ceiling and it represents very, very good business.”

*Follow @ProximaJornada1 for all things Portuguese football, in English.





Written by : @samizgould

The news of Arthur Masuaku receiving a new five-year contract till 2024 with a possible two-year extension took fans massively by surprise. The new contract makes him equal second for longest contract at the club with a pretty select group including Declan Rice, Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller, with only Grady Diangana on a longer deal.

For many of us Arthur has been the butt of jokes, cause for frustration and front and centre for blame when discussing our defensive frailties. There is no doubting that opposition teams have directed their play down their right wing to try and take advantage of any momentary pauses in concentration. So why on earth would a manager with the experience, knowledge and eye for talent of Manuel Pellegrini look to extend a player’s time in London if he’s as terrible as we all believe?

To start with the simple answer is he doesn’t agree. It’s clear by the length of contract that this is a huge sign of belief and support in Arthur’s talents and Pellegrini is seeing something that we don’t. We know the Chilean loves attacking full backs and looks for technical players across the pitch in order to unleash his style of unrelenting attacking football. Here Masuaku makes sense, he loves to bomb forward and his dribbling ability on the ball is equal to some of our best forward talents, but we all know this isn’t the area we are concerned with. In terms of attributes of a top Premier League fullback you look firstly for pace, strength and love for physical play and here again our Congolese flyer has all of this. He’s even good in the tackle and was last season equal second for tackles per game with 2.5pg behind Declan Rice and fourth overall at the club for total tackles. Vitally though a defender must be able to defend and have a mentality to spot danger and want to act to stop it.

Consistency and mentality were the focuses from Manuel Pellegrini throughout his first season and Arthur was one of players those comments were directed at. He had huge ups and downs, where he’d go from being a definite threat and trouble for opposition teams to cover with busting runs to a scarecrow watching on as wingers would bust past him to the byline and put in balls with ease setting up goals and attacks as will think Man City at home. Improvement here is a must if he wants to achieve the team’s targets this season and the first game against City gives him the perfect opportunity.

There is part of all this that’s about business. At 25 years old he is still to reach his peak years and with originally only one year left on his previous contract, we wanted to tie down an asset to prevent him leaving for nothing. This is good business and perhaps something we’ve been lacking in the past so that we can maximise any potential sale or return on our investment. But a three year contract would also have served the same purpose here. So, the question still begs why go all out on a long contract for a defends who has had his frailties defensively?

Across last season there was improvement from Masuaku. He, like many of our players, struggled in the early games and looked at sea in a defence that couldn’t find land to ground anywhere on the horizon. His final five games were his best of the year, and after a long period of 13 games where he only played three times, sat on the bench or wasn’t in the squad, he had to prove a point. He definitely showed Pellegrini something because the determination to get back in the team and improve his work rate and concentration saw rewards with wins against Spurs, Southampton and Watford. The manager loves a player who works to earn an opportunity, and we’ve seen Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio get opportunities through hard work as proof of this.

Fans may have had Masuaku on a list of players likely to leave, and so for the Manager to offer this sort of deal is astonishing. Manuel Pellegrini clearly feels he has all the attributes he’s looking for and the player has shown that he can develop and work hard to improve. If the manager can work on his defensive mentality, concentration and end product, he could have a hell of a player and clearly the Chilean believes he can achieve this. With the arrival of Haller and the technical players around him, Masuaku has a platform to provide vital assists but it’s his work back on his own byline and in our box that we need Arthur ‘the monster’ Masuku’s best efforts most, and to do it he’ll need our support.






Written by : @levylife

“O Captain, My Captain!” wrote Walt Whitman following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The poem bursts with sadness and mourning for a ship’s fallen captain and how all hope is lost without the steadfast hand of comfort upon deck.

Mark Noble’s absence from West Ham’s starting eleven may not be as dramatic as the murder of a US President but it still presents an intriguing question as to who should take up the mantle vacated by the Canning Town man, forced either through injury or Pellegrini’s selection.

Noble embodies West Ham and understands what it means to captain the club. He is a throwback to a bygone age of local lad done good. However, as the club we know and love metamorphoses into an all together different entity, the question of a new captain becomes ever more pressing.

There are several pathways to take, each with their own positives and negatives. Experience over youth, passion over pragmatism, nature over nurture are all arguments one could make for members of the squad.

Here are three who could slip into the space left behind by Noble in both the short and long-term.


Fan favourite Rice would represent a natural heir to Noble’s armband. A West Ham fan, an Academy product and midfield controller, it would make sense for Rice to assume the responsibility. Not only would it demonstrate the club’s confidence and admiration for the youngster, but also add another caveat to Rice’s game, giving him the role of leader.

It shouldn’t be underestimated the impact of entrusting a youngster with the captaincy. One needs only cast their mind back to the early part of this century when a baby-faced Joe Cole was made captain and saw his game elevate to another level. Rice could see this same trajectory, and at such a critical point in his development, transform him into an elite Premier League talent.


The General. It’s in the name, really. The Paraguayan was captain at his former club Corinthians and has become a stalwart in the West Ham side. Despite his shaky pre-season form, he is still the club’s best centre-half and if he can stay injury free, he will surely start most games this season.

Some may point the finger at his lack of fluency in English, but this can also be a moot point. A large contingent of the Hammers side is Spanish speaking and any instructions on the pitch can be easily communicated.

At 27, he also has several years at the top of his game and could provide the perfect foil for a developing Rice to eventually take the reins in a post-Noble and Balbuena world.


A slightly left-field choice perhaps but it could also be a masterstroke. Whilst Aaron Cresswell and Pablo Zabaleta have acted as captains in Noble’s absence, the uncertainty over their starting positions could allow for an experienced Premier League operator to take the armband.

Wilshere, much like Rice, could see his game elevated with the addition of the captaincy. His knowledge of the game is second to none and he sees patterns and options appear before they’ve even begun to develop.

To have a captain on the pitch who can pull the strings, link defence and attack and be a vocal influence is a triple whammy. Pellegrini, based on pre-season, also sees Wilshere as a key figure for the upcoming season and a starting eleven spot seems nailed on for the former Arsenal man.

Injury could be his undoing, as it has so often in his past, but with vision like a periscope and experience that outstrips many others in the squad, Wilshere could be the captain we never knew we needed.


Albian Ajeti: West Ham close to signing Basel and Switzerland striker

By Simon Stone

BBC Sport

Albian Ajeti has six caps for Switzerland’s under-21s

West Ham are close to concluding an £8m deal for Basel striker Albian Ajeti. Ajeti, 22, scored 15 goals in 35 games for the Swiss side last season and was part of the Switzerland squad that competed in the Nations League tournament at the end of last season. West Ham have already spent a club record £45m on former France Under-21 forward Sebastien Haller this summer. It is anticipated Mexican striker Javier Hernandez will remain at London Stadium while Andy Carroll has left.


West Ham United close in on deal for Basel striker Albian Ajeti

By Blake Welton

Last Updated: 07/08/19 11:59am



West Ham United are looking to boost their forward line with a move for Basel’s Albian Ajeti

West Ham are closing in on a deal to sign Basel striker Albian Ajeti for £8m, Sky Sports News understands.

The 22-year-old Switzerland international scored 15 goals in 35 games for Basel last season and has seven caps for Switzerland. With Marko Arnautovic moving to Chinese side Shanghai SIPG earlier this summer, the Hammers are looking to boost their forward line with new club-record signing Sebastien Haller and Javier Hernandez the only senior recognised strikers at the club. Previously linked with a move to Championship side West Brom, it is believed Ajeti is likely to earn around £50,000-a-week should he sign for the Hammers.


Hammers could see four more departures

Posted by Sean Whetstone on August 7, 2019 in C&H

Josh Cullen, Nathan Holland, Grady Diangana and Dan Kemp could all be loaned out before the transfer window closes tomorrow evening at 5 pm if rumours are to be believed. ITK @ExWHUEmployee claims that Josh Cullen is likely to return to Charlton where he spent last season, Dan Kemp is poised to join a Dutch club on loan with Nathan Holland weighing up a number of loan offers including Bolton. However, ClaretandHugh has learned that should the Cullen deal happen, and it is likely, there will be a clause inserted that he returns in January should he be required by the Hammers. Grady Diangana could also be on his way with Slaven Bilic making a late-night enquiry to West Ham about a season-long loan to West Brom with Derby also making an enquiry. The possible Cullen deals is a surprise as he qualifies a home grown player and if loaned would reduce the number of homegrown players from six to five meaning a maximum Premier League squad of 23 for the season. Conor Coventry hasn’t been mentioned as yet but is another player who could end up on loan next season.


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