Burnley bolstered their midfield with the signing of Josh Cullen from Anderlect earlier this week, with the West Ham United academy graduate being reunited with Vincent Kompany at Turf Moor.
The 26-year-old has arrived on a three-year deal and should be first choice, to add bags of energy and steely determination in central midfield.
The Irishman has played in the Championship on loan at Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic in previous years, and was particularly impressive for the Addicks in 2019/20.
Lee Bowyer, the former Charlton manager who was recently sacked by Birmingham City, who managed Cullen for two seasons with the Addicks, gave his insight into some of the 26-year-old’s strengths and what he can offer the Clarets when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “He pushes everybody and wants to be pushed himself.
“He had the whole package and he was a manager’s dream – low maintenance, high output.
“You can’t fault his bravery.
“He is a leader who hates losing.
“It hurts him, so he gives everything and crawls off the pitch at the end.
“He was your perfect midfielder to receive the ball from the back four in every situation.
“It was his enthusiasm (that was an issue) – if our full-back had the ball, he would go running towards it because he wants the ball, even if he was on the other side of the pitch.
“That was killing his own space, receiving it in a tight area under pressure.
“Sometimes, the right movement is to pull away – so if a team is pressing, one pass can take three players out of the game.”
Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood’s experience could be crucial in Cullen hitting the ground running at Burnley, and Bowyer’s glowing reference suggests he could turn out to be a marquee signing for the Clarets.
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Having played in a lot of struggling sides in the first half of his career, it will be interesting to see how the tough tackling midfielder adapts to the expectations at Burnley, and with managing that his time at Anderlecht should stand him in good stead.
Immediately after relegation it seemed like the Clarets were in for a very tough season in the Championship, and they still could be, but the squad they are entering the campaign with is very strong and will keep supporters believing that an immediate return to the Premier League could be on the cards.
Cullen is an excellent piano carrier in midfield, and should seta solid platform for their flair players to express themselves in the attacking third.