Josh Maja

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Josh Maja
Lens - Girondins de Bordeaux (19-09-2020) 45.jpg
Maja playing for Bordeaux in 2020
Personal information
Full name Joshua Erowoli Orisunmihare Oluwaseun Maja[1]
Date of birth (1998-12-27) 27 December 1998 (age 22)[2]
Place of birth Lewisham, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[3]
Position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Fulham
(on loan from Bordeaux)
Number 27
Youth career
Crystal Palace
Fulham
Manchester City
2015–2016 Sunderland
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016–2019 Sunderland 41 (16)
2019– Bordeaux 45 (9)
2021–Fulham (loan) 10 (3)
National team
2019– Nigeria 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:26, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 September 2019

Joshua Erowoli Orisunmihare Oluwaseun Maja (born 27 December 1998) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Fulham, on loan from Bordeaux, and the Nigeria national team.

Maja played youth football with Crystal Palace, Fulham and Manchester City and began his professional career with Sunderland, making 49 appearances and scoring 17 goals. In January 2019, he joined Bordeaux. Born in England, Maja made his international debut for Nigeria in September 2019.

Early life[edit]

Born in the London Borough of Lewisham to Nigerian parents, Maja grew up in Pimlico, London.[4][5] As a youngster he played for the youth teams of Crystal Palace and Fulham, and despite being formally registered with Fulham he spent some time with Manchester City.[6]

Club career[edit]

Sunderland[edit]

Maja with Sunderland in 2018

Maja was not offered a scholarship by Manchester City and in March 2015, Sunderland reached an agreement with Fulham for him to sign a two-year scholarship.[7] In May 2016, he signed his first professional contract with the club, signing a three-year deal.[5]

On 21 September 2016, Maja made his professional debut in a 2–1 victory at Queens Park Rangers in the third round of the EFL Cup, replacing Joel Asoro as a substitute for the final 21 minutes.[8] He did not play again that season but did appear on the bench during their Premier League campaign, which ended in relegation.[9]

Maja made his league debut on 16 December 2017, when he came on for James Vaughan at the Stadium of Light, going on to score his side's only goal of the match five minutes subsequently; the game resulted in Sunderland’s first home win of 2017 and against Fulham, his former team during his youth. Manager Chris Coleman spoke positively of Maja afterwards, stating, "I've been very impressed with Josh. He's different, he gives us a big injection of personality".[10] Maja went on to make 17 appearances in the Championship that season, failing to score anymore following his goal against Fulham,[11] with the club suffering a second consecutive relegation, now to League One.[12]

Relegation proved well personally for Maja, as he broke into the side's starting line-up; he went on to score in all of Sunderland's first four games in August, earning him a nomination for Player of the Month.[13] With his contract due to expire at the end of the season, he was offered a contract extension, though he refused, amid reported interest from multiple clubs.[14] His transfer saga was featured as part of the Netflix documentary Sunderland 'Til I Die.[15] Maja went on to leave the club during the January transfer window, at the time, Maja had scored 16 goals in 30 league appearances.[16]

Bordeaux[edit]

On 26 January 2019, Maja signed for French Ligue 1 club Bordeaux on a four-and-a-half year contract. He made his league debut on 17 February in a 2–1 home Derby de la Garonne win over Toulouse, starting and playing 67 minutes.[17] On 20 April, he scored his first Ligue 1 goal in a 2–1 loss at Nîmes Olympique, but suffered a first-half left-knee injury that ended his season after seven games.[18] On 3 December 2019, again against Nîmes, Maja scored his first professional hat-trick and also provided an assist in a 6–0 win.[19][20][21]

Return to Fulham (Loan)[edit]

On 1 February 2021, transfer deadline day, Maja returned to English football with his former club in his youth, Fulham, now back in the Premier League though in a relegation battle, signing on loan for the remainder of the 2020–21 season.[22] On 14 February, in his first start for the side, he scored both goals in a 2–0 victory at Everton.[23]

International career[edit]

In August 2019 the Nigeria national team manager Gernot Rohr said he wanted Maja to represent the nation.[24] He made his international debut on 10 September in a 2–2 friendly against Ukraine, replacing Victor Osimhen in added time.[25]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 18 April 2021
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sunderland U23 2016–17[26] 4[a] 1 4 1
Sunderland 2016–17[27] Premier League 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
2017–18[11] Championship 17 1 1 0 0 0 18 1
2018–19[16] League One 24 15 3 0 1 0 2[a] 1 30 16
Total 41 16 4 0 2 0 2 1 49 17
Bordeaux 2018–19[26] Ligue 1 7 1 0 0 7 1
2019–20[26] Ligue 1 21 6 2 1 1 1 0 0 24 8
2020–21[26] Ligue 1 17 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 2
Total 45 9 2 1 1 1 0 0 49 11
Fulham (loan) 2020–21[28] Premier League 10 3 0 0 0 0 10 3
Career total 97 28 6 1 3 1 6 2 112 32
  1. ^ a b Appearances in EFL Trophy

International[edit]

As of match played 10 September 2019[29]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Nigeria 2019 1 0
Total 1 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rayner, Stuart (27 March 2017). "Sunderland youngster Josh Maja set to switch to Nigeria after training with Super Eagles". ChronicleLive. Trinity Mirror North East. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Josh Maja: Overview". ESPN. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Josh Maja: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Remember the name! Goal machine Maja hails 'very supportive' Kinetic after humiliating Manchester United". Kinetic Foundation. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Nigerian Superkid Joshua Maja Pens Professional Contract With Sunderland". All Nigeria Soccer. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Sunderland raid Man City for young duo Cameron McCulloch and Josh Maja". Tribal Football. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  7. ^ Young, Chris (15 April 2015). "Sunderland sign Manchester City prospects". Sunderland Echo. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  8. ^ Chamberlain, Oscar (21 September 2016). "QPR 1–2 Sunderland". Sunderland A.F.C. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  9. ^ Jamieson, Stuart (14 December 2016). "Sunderland handed major injury boost ahead of tonight's clash with league leaders Chelsea". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  10. ^ Taylor, Louise (16 December 2017). "Sunderland delight as Josh Maja sinks Fulham to end barren home year". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Games played by Josh Maja in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Sunderland 1–2 Burton Albion". BBC Sport. 21 April 2018.
  13. ^ Hunter, James (5 September 2018). "Sunderland's Josh Maja is nominated for Player of the Month award - and here's how to vote". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  14. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/jan/04/josh-maja-sunderland-contract-extension-premier-league
  15. ^ "Josh Maja reveals the truth behind his Sunderland exit and move to Bordeaux - as shown in Sunderland 'Til I Die". Sunderland Echo. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Games played by Josh Maja in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  17. ^ Donnelly, Mark (18 February 2019). "Sunderland AFC news: Bordeaux manager makes surprising Josh Maja admission plus injury latest". Shields Gazette. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Ligue 1 : Josh Maja (Bordeaux) marque son premier but puis sort sur blessure contre Nîmes". L'Equipe (in French). 20 April 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Magnificent Maja fires Bordeaux third". www.ligue1.com. 3 December 2019.
  20. ^ "20-Year-Old Josh Maja Just Bagged His First Career Hat-Trick for Bordeaux". Versus. 4 December 2019.
  21. ^ "Josh Maja scores first career hat-trick as Bordeaux stroll past Nimes". Goal. 4 December 2019.
  22. ^ "MAJA ARRIVES ON LOAN". Fulham F.C. 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  23. ^ "Josh Maja grabs double on Premier League full debut". Sky Sports. 14 February 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  24. ^ "Josh Maja: Nigeria chase England-born forward". BBC Sport. 29 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Ukraine v Nigeria game report". ESPN. 10 September 2019.
  26. ^ a b c d "J. Maja". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  27. ^ "Games played by Josh Maja in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Games played by Josh Maja in 2020/2021". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Maja, Josh". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 12 October 2019.

External links[edit]