Joshua Erowoli Orisunmihare Oluwaseun Maja (born 27 December 1998) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Ligue 1 club 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 and Career
Born in the London Borough of Lewisham to Nigerian parents, Maja grew up in Pimlico, London. 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.
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. In May 2016, he signed his first professional contract with the club, signing a three-year deal.
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. He did not play again that season but did appear on the bench during their Premier League campaign, which ended in relegation.
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”. Maja went on to make 17 appearances in the Championship that season, failing to score anymore following his goal against Fulham, with the club suffering a second consecutive relegation, now to League One.
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. 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. His transfer saga was featured as part of the Netflix documentary Sunderland ‘Til I Die. Maja went on to leave the club during the January transfer window, at the time, Maja had scored 16 goals in 30 league appearances.
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. 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. On 3 December 2019, again against Nîmes, Maja scored his first professional hat-trick and also provided an assist in a 6–0 win.
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. On 14 February, in his first start for the side, he scored both goals in a 2–0 victory at Everton.
Nigeria Super Eagles Career
In August 2019 the Nigeria national team manager Gernot Rohr said he wanted Maja to represent the nation. He made his international debut on 10 September in a 2–2 friendly against Ukraine, replacing Victor Osimhen in added time.
As of 2021, Josh Maja is currently single and not yet married.
Net Worth and Salary
Josh Maja’s net worth as of 2021 is estimated at around $2.2 million (net worth estimated in 2021).
Josh Maja earns £14,000 per week and £728,000 per year playing for FC Girondins de Bordeaux as a ST (C).
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