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Will Nordtveit departure signal a big chance for youngster Cullen at last?

PUBLISHED: 08:30 21 June 2017

Midfielder Havard Nordtveit has left West Ham to return to the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim

Midfielder Havard Nordtveit has left West Ham to return to the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim

PA Wire/PA Images

West Ham midfielder Havard Nordtveit has left the club after just one campaign and returned to Germany to play for Hoffenheim for an undisclosed fee.

Josh Cullen will look to make his mark in the first  team squad at West Ham in the coming season. Josh Cullen will look to make his mark in the first team squad at West Ham in the coming season.

The 26-year-old Norway international joined on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach and his season illustrated perfectly the mediocrity of West Ham’s transfer policy last summer.

Nordtveit had some bad games for the Hammers last term, even he wouldn’t deny that, but he was unlucky for much of it as he was played out of position.

When he did come into the side towards the end of the campaign in place of Mark Noble as a defensive midfielder, he performed well, but it was clear that manager Slaven Bilic did not have great confidence in him.

When Noble was fit for the Tottenham game, Nordtveit was discarded again and that may well have signalled the end of his time at the London Stadium.

“I would like to thank Havard for his commitment and hard work last season,” said Bilic. “He is an excellent professional and we wish him all the very best at Hoffenheim.”

Nordtveit’s departure seems such a waste of a chance to have another quality player at the club.

He may not be a full-back or a central defender, but in midfield he was a stalwart at Monchengladbach and is still a regular in the Norwegian international team.

And with worrying mutterings about the future of Cheikhou Kouyate after non-commital remarks in social media by him in the last few days.

If he was to follow Nordtveit out of the door then it would leave great holes in the West Ham midfield come the start of the season.

Perhaps one positive thing that could come out of this is the future of young midfielder Josh Cullen.

The 21-year-old has now completed two excellent seasons at League One outfit Bradford City.

Bilic has said that he likes youngsters to spend one or even two seasons away from the club learning their trade.

And in the week when Reece Oxford was shipped out to play for Monchengladbach, it might well be time for Cullen to come into the first-team squad and given the chance to show what he can do.

It could be a great move and one that is not before time.

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