Well done Parker – Why Fulham would benefit from this deadline day deal for talented 22-year-old ace


How Fulham can benefit from Josh Maja loan deal in their bid for survival

According to Sky Sports, Fulham have completed the signing of Nigerian international forward Josh Maja on a six-month loan deal until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old’s deadline day switch to Craven Cottage marks his return to the club, seven years after he had left the academy to join the Manchester City youth system. Fulham have the option to sign Maja permanently for a fee of £9million as a part of the agreement. (h/t Sky Sports)

Josh Maja during his time with Sunderland. (Getty Images)
Josh Maja during his time with Sunderland. (Getty Images)

Maja’s rise in France

Jose Maja shot to prominence at Sunderland during the 2017-18 season in the EFL Championship season, where he scored once in 17 appearances. The exciting youngster made a much bigger impression in the following campaign after the Black Cats’ relegation to League One.

The 22-year-old bagged 16 goals in 30 appearances for Sunderland during the first half of the 2018-19 season before earning a move to Bordeaux. Maja started only 6 games in Ligue 1 last term while making a further 15 appearances from the bench. Although he was restricted to a bit-part role, the Nigerian still managed to contribute with 6 goals and 2 assists.

Josh Maja celebrates after scoring a goal (Getty Images)
Josh Maja celebrates after scoring a goal (Getty Images)

Maja’s hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Nimes back in December 2019 has been the highlight of his spell at Bordeaux. However, he had struggled to hit top gear this term, scoring only twice in 17 league appearances before joining Fulham on loan. 

Fulham’s goalscoring woes

Fulham have struggled to sail along smoothly following their return to the Premier League. The Cottagers currently find themselves languishing 18th in the standings with just a couple of wins from 20 games so far. With the club 7 points adrift of safety, Scott Parker’s side face an uphill battle in their efforts to avoid relegation.

A tally of just 17 goals scored so far clearly indicates that Fulham have been lacking firepower in the final third. Only Burnley and Sheffield United have scored fewer goals, which pretty much sums up their season so far.

Josh Maja in action for Bordeaux (Getty Images)

Mitrovic was expected to be the spearhead of Fulham’s attack in the Premier League but the Serb has managed to score just twice in 16 games so far. He is back to playing regularly after struggling with injuries in December, which is certainly a positive for Parker.  

The Cottagers, however, need goal contributions from their other attackers as well. Ivan Cavaleiro has offered very little, scoring just thrice in 18 appearances, while Aboubakar Kamara is pretty much a token back-up in front of goal. 

Maja an ideal signing?

Fulham have benefitted from loan deals for Ademola Lookman and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the summer and Josh Maja looks like yet another exciting young addition to the club’s forward line.

The Nigerian starlet already has a fair bit of experience under his belt, having played for Sunderland in the Football League and Bordeaux in the French top-flight.

Josh Maja in action for Bordeaux (Getty Images)

His overall career tally of 28 goals in 98 senior appearances might not look all that prolific. But Maja has shown glimpses of his potential at Bordeaux and would offer Fulham some much-needed depth and quality in front of goal between now and the end of the season.

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With Mitrovic and Cavaleiro struggling for form, the door remains open for Maja to make a big impact in the coming months. The Nigerian’s long-term future at Fulham would primarily hinge on whether the club manage to preserve their top-flight status.