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Bolton Wanderers have signed talented young pair Reece Burke and Josh Cullen from Premier League side West Ham United on loan deals.
The two players have signed on at the Macron Stadium until January 2018 and will once again team up with boss Phil Parkinson, who managed them both while they were on loan at Bradford City. Both Burke and Cullen have some Premier League experience under their belt, already having been handed chances since progressing through the Hammers’ academy.
Cullen is a central midfield player and a Republic of Ireland under-21 international who has been at Bradford City for the past two seasons on temporary contracts, helping them reach the League One playoff semis two years ago and the playoff final last season.
Burke, on the other hand, has a little more experience. An England under-20 representative who plays as a defender or as a holding midfielder, and as well as his time at Bradford two years ago with Cullen, played Championship football last term at Wigan Athletic.
Having trained with the first team squad at West Ham until now, the pair have now joined up with their Trotters teammates ahead of a mouth watering opening clash against Leeds United this weekend. Having worked with current boss Parkinson before, both players should be able to hit the ground running and add an unexpected touch of quality to the squad.
The Championship is seen as a logical next step for Cullen while Burke needs a little more experience, having played just 10 league games for Wigan last season; a campaign which ultimately ended in relegation for the Latics.
This sort of move, allied with the temporary deal for Newcastle striker Adam Armstrong, could kick Bolton on to the next level as increasingly these days, this league is about quality and not just hard experience. Both players are still highly rated at West Ham United and are seen as potential Premier League players at the London stadium. So that sort of skill level being shown this term can only benefit Wanderers.
Reece Burke would provide stiff competition for David Wheater, Dorian Dervite and Mark Beevers. Although he doesn’t have their experience, he looks head and shoulder above them in terms of his quality on the ball.
Cullen will be pitted against the likes of Mark Davies, Josh Vela, Darren Pratley and Jay Spearing. He will have a tough time proving his worth. This, along with game time, is exactly the sort of experience he needs if he is to toughen up and become a big league player.