Charlton are bracing themselves for the possibility that Josh Cullen will return to West Ham in January.

The on-loan midfielder has impressed in his second loan spell at The Valley and has apparently got the attention of the Hammers’ hierarchy.

Influential in the promotion winning campaign last season, Cullen has carried his form into the Championship helping the Addicks to seventh in the league, just four points off top spot.

Midfield is an area where Charlton are relatively blessed with numbers and quality, Cullen however has played every minute of the 11 games since returning, highlighting the importance within the side.  

The 23-year-old Irish international came through the Hammers Academy and it was thought this season he would remain with the East London outfit and fight for first team football.

Cullen admitted the decision was made by Manuel Pellegrini to send him back out on-loan at the 11th hour however, and having ties at The Valley he opted to team back up with Lee Bowyer, a big admirer of his.

West Ham’s indifferent form this season has seen question marks raised over big money signings like Pablo Fornals and Felipe Anderson and whether they are capable of the physicality of the Premier League.

Those fears and Cullen’s form have alerted Pellegrini and his staff to possibly having the solution already on their books.

Cullen’s loan deal has clause allowing his parent club call him back between the 1st and 14th of January, and with the midfielder harbouring huge ties with his boyhood club it’s a call you’d expect him to be willing to answer.

Obviously this would be a huge blow to Charlton, possibly not regarding their survival but for any ambitious hopes they had of getting into the top six.

Charlton travel to Bristol City on Wednesday.