Nigeria’s stellar young forward, Joshua Maja, has signed for Premier League side, Fulham on loan from French club – Bordeaux for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.
Josh Maja comes in with a big reputation. Just 22 years old, Maja has managed to already make it into the Nigerian national squad and is trying to break through the ranks at the highest level of football.
Maja was born in South London, England and began his youth career with Crystal Palace. He was also a part of the youth system at Fulham, Manchester City and finally, Sunderland in 2015-16.
A fantastic stint in the youth squad saw him get promoted into the first team where he made 41 appearances between 2016 and 2019, scoring 16 goals.
Bordeaux then swooped in to sign the Nigerian starlet and he made 45 appearances for the club scoring 9 times before being signed by Fulham on loan.
Maja becomes the latest acquisition for the Craven Cottage side who are battling to stay in the Premier League. Manager Scott Parker recently expressed his happiness with the acquisition of players this season stating, “When you look at the transfer work we’ve done this season in Antonee Robinson, Tosin [Adarabioyo], Harrison Reed, Ademola Lookman, even Ruben Loftus-Cheek, these are young, exciting players who need developing, need time, need improving, not had a lot of football and the challenge is the next level of the Premier League. All of these players have done fantastically well and I think Josh [Maja] fits into that bracket as well.”
Joshua Maja becomes the 7th African player in Scott Parker’s side after Neeskens Kebano from Congo, Mario Lemina from Gabon, Andre-Frank Anguissa from Cameroon and 3 fellow Nigerians in Tosin, Lookman and Ola Aina.
Scott Parker is an admirer of Josh Maja and his potential. He believes the Super Eagles forward’s experience of playing football in England will help him develop faster.
“I think firstly, like all deadline days they do bring a little bit of drama. Very pleased with the signing of Josh [Maja],” Parker said in his press conference.
“He (Maja) falls into line with the sort of business we’ve done this year in terms of young talent with big potential. He’s a very good finisher and it was clear we needed to strengthen in that area. We’ve got Aleks [Mitrovic] but he’s our only real, recognised centre forward. Firstly very pleased with that so hopefully Josh comes in and we can push him on.”
Parker also added that Josh Maja was not the only piece they wanted to add. “We tried to do some other bits, Josh King was that one. We tried and pushed but competing with Everton was a challenge and he decided to go there.”
? | We have completed the signing of Joshua King from Bournemouth for a nominal fee until the end of 2020/21.#EFC ?
— Everton (@Everton) February 2, 2021
The Fulham manager has no doubts that Josh Maja can thrive in the Premier League. “Ability-wise Josh was here as [a] young boy. He’s played in English football so I don’t see that as an issue. Probably more just where he is physically and we’ll judge that. Physically where he is, is something we’ll have to work out. I brought Josh to the football club because he’s someone who I see with big potential, someone I see we can develop.”
Nigeria’s fan following for Fulham will have shot up even more now given that there are 4 of their top talents playing in London, potentially, together against the best in the Premier League.