Joshua Erowoli Maja is a Nigerian footballer born on December 27th, 1998 in Lewisham, England. Despite being born in England, he decided to represent Nigeria on the international stage since his parents are both Nigerian. He plays as a striker and he is widely considered to be one of the most talented African youngsters in Europe.
Maja started his football career at a young age, playing for Crystal Palace, Fulham and Manchester City youth teams. In 2015, he joined Sunderland where he made his debut in the senior squad in the EFL Cup in 2016. However, he didn’t play any more games that year as Sunderland was still in the Premier League at that time.
After being relegated to the Championship, Maja made his league debut in 2017. He still played only occasionally as Sunderland suffered another relegation to League One. Maja became a starter during the 2018-2019 campaign after starting the season with goals in four consecutive matches. He appeared in 24 games in League One and scored 15 goals.
The striker refused to sign a new contract with the club, forcing Sunderland to sell him to Bordeaux in January of 2019. Maja is still with the club and he is pretty much a standard part of the team. He appeared in 42 league games at Bordeaux and scored 10 goals.
In 2019, Maja earned his first cap for the Nigerian national team. To this date, it is still his only appearance for Nigeria.
Josh Maja Transfers and Rumours
- 2015: Fulham to Sunderland – Free Transfer
- 2019: Sunderland to Bordeaux – £1.5 million
Since he started his football career in a few different English clubs, Maja was considered a great talent. His pace and finishing made him into a reliable striker, which is why it wasn’t a surprise when he left Fulham youth academy to join Sunderland, a team that played in the Premier League at the time.
This was the first time that Maja made transfer news but not the last time. After proving himself with Sunderland in League One, gossip started to appear about his next destination. Maja refused to renew his contract with the club because he wanted to leave to play on the bigger stage.
In 2019, Bordeaux came knocking with an offer of £1.5 million and Sunderland decided to sell the striker rather than lose him on a free transfer later after his contract expires. The sale also included 10% of his next transfer, which could happen sooner rather than later.
According to some transfer rumours, the line for Maja’s services is quite long and full of illustrious clubs. There were already reports of interest from a few different Premier League clubs, including West Ham, Crystal Palace and Chelsea. There were also football whispers of interest from the Scottish giant Rangers.
All in all, Maja failed to move this summer and seems content at Bordeaux, for now. What the future brings remains to be seen but a return to England certainly seems possible for the Nigerian striker.