French side Bordeaux have completed the signing of Josh Maja. The striker has signed from Sunderland in a deal that could be worth £3.5 million to the Black Cats. The Ligue 1 club have beaten a host of sies in England and Europe to sign the 20-year-old. He has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal.
Bordeaux Sign Josh Maja
Maja, who has scored 16 goals this season, had just six months left on his current contract. Sunderland were keen to keep him and offered him a new and improved contract. However, they turned it down.
Maja Was a Wanted Man
Maja’s agent advised Sky Sports that his client had rejected the deal before advising the club. After weighing up his options, the young striker has opted to move abroad. Moves to the Championship, Premier League, Scotland and Germany were considered. However, Bordeaux have won the race.
Best Deal for Sunderland?
Maja had been free to arrange a pre-contract agreement with a European side. However, this would have given Sunderland a very small sum in compensation. A deal this month, therefore, was believed to better for the club. The Black Cats had the option to cash in this month or keep their top scorer and lose him for free in the summer.
Is it the Right Move?
Debates will be ongoing as to whether this is the right move. Maja is currently top scorer for Sunderland with 16 goals. The club are currently third in League One and well placed to gain automatic promotion. The Black Cats are also attracting large crowds. Their home average is over 30,000 and they played in front of almost 47,000 on Boxing Day.
If he stayed and gained promotion he would likely have had a pay rise, plus his value would have increased. The striker’s development at Sunderland would have been furthered too. At Bordeaux, he joins a team in mid-table with an average attendance of just over 21,000. However, they do have an outside chance of European qualification. The lure of this, a wage rise and a signing-on fee, amongst others, was too much to turn down for the player and his agent.
New Recruits Needed Quickly
Before Maja left, Sunderland manager Jack Ross indicated that he wished to sign at least two new players. At least one of those would be a striker. Several bids for Wigan forward Will Grigg have been rejected, but he remains the number one target.
At present, Charlie Wyke is the only senior out and out striker at the club. With Sunderland hoping to gain automatic promotion this season, reinforcements are desperately needed. The money from the sale of Maja will boost Jack Ross’s transfer funds. He, and the club, must do their best to get the right players in this month.