Josh Maja has been one of the EFL’s standout performers this season. The 19-year-old striker has scored 11 goals so far this season, helping Sunderland into the automatic promotion places in League One. His form and goals have not gone unnoticed and teams from the Championship and Premier League are keeping a close eye on the youngster.
However, would a move to a higher division in January, for example, be beneficial? Or should he stay where he is and play on a consistent basis and achieve his desire to play in the Championship and Premier League with Sunderland? The latter, for the foreseeable future, should be his decision.
Josh Maja’s Future Should be on Wearside
After being one of the very few positives from last season’s disastrous campaign, Maja has improved and gone on to be a regular in the starting line up. The youngster has scored 11 goals in all competitions so far this season. He has also picked up an EFL Young Player of the Month award along the way.
As he is still young and learning, manager Jack Ross has attempted to keep his main striker fresh by giving him breaks from the team when possible. At his young age, form will dip from time to time as it has at times this season, even though he has scored plenty of goals.
This season is Maja’s first season playing consistently. He has rewarded his manager’s faith with goals and excellent contribution to the team. Playing so regularly, even with the occasional break, is new to Maja. It is something that, if it continues, will hold him in good stead for the future.
Rumours have begun linking him with other clubs, which is to be expected. However, at this stage of his career, would he get the game time he both needs and craves elsewhere? If it was the Premier League then, his game time could be few and far between.
Maja’s current deal expires at the end of the season. Sunderland are, however, confident of extending his contract. Talks have already begun and manager Jack Ross is confident of keeping the youngster. “I still believe he (Maja) will be at the club beyond his current contract. At the moment, the conversations I’ve had with Josh, I know he’s happy, enjoys it, I think he believes it’s an environment where he can improve.”
Although Sunderland are presently confident of keeping Maja, his goalscoring form has not gone unnoticed. Premier League sides Manchester City, Tottenham, Everton and West Ham are reportedly interested. As are Championship clubs Bristol City and Middlesbrough.
Unless an offer that is too good to refuse is submitted, Sunderland will reject any advances. Maja appears happy on Wearside and the club and their fans want him to stay. Everyone at the club is hoping that they can achieve promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt. This will be more achievable with the likes of Maja around.
The Last Word
Should Sunderland achieve promotion and Maja stays, his stock will rise considerably, giving him more options in the future. However, at the moment, he should stay on Wearside and concentrate on learning, improving and helping his team get back to the Championship and eventually the Premier League where they belong.