He’s a player Crystal Palace have been linked with from the moment the January transfer window opened for business but it seems as though Sunderland striker Josh Maja is on his way to Bordeaux rather than Beckenham if recent reports are to be believed.
Born and raised in south London, Maja has already played for Palace at youth level but made the switch to the North East back in 2015, after the Black Cats came to an agreement with his then club Fulham over his scholarship papers. Little over 12 months later, Josh put pen to paper on a three-year professional deal at The Stadium of Light and hasn’t really looked back since.
Breaking | Bordeaux have concluded a deal to sign English attacker Josh Maja from Sunderland, according to L’Équipe. More follows.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 23, 2019
Whilst the 20-year-old agreed terms with the Mackems when they were still a Premier League club, their back-to-back relegations have given him a chance to flourish in the first-team since August, with 15 goals in just 24 League One appearances to date. Predictably, given that return, outsiders have begun to sit up and take notice with Palace one of a few clubs who’ve been reported as an interested party but now it sounds as though the Lewisham native is set to try his hand in France rather than making an instant return to the Premier League.
According to L’Equipe, Bordeaux are laying out just €4 million to sign Maja, which given the interest there’s supposedly been in him, seems like something of a steal. There is obviously a chance that Palace have run the rule over him and decided that, right now, he’s not quite ready for the rigours of the English top flight but given his age, nationality, childhood roots and goalscoring form, I don’t mind admitting that I’m a tad gutted not to see him making the move to SE25 this January.
Knowing the way things tend to work at the top end of English football, Maja will probably go on a tear for Bordeaux, scoring 25+ goals between now and the summer of 2020, prompting a flurry of £30 million bids for him from a host of the Premier League’s big hitters but for now, we can do little but sit back and observe.
Do we have other targets in mind this January? With time running short I’m beginning to have serious doubts.