Reports from the Shields Gazette are doing the rounds that Middlesbrough are keeping track of Sunderland striker Josh Maja who has hit a rich vein of form of late and has been a crucial player for Jack Ross in their promotion pursuit to the Championship. The 19-year-old centre-forward is in the final year of his contract, and Jack Ross recently indicated that he is yet not sure whether the forward would commit his future at the Stadium of Light.
Ross was quoted as saying on the player contract situation,”There’s no update on Josh’s contract situation. As a manager – and I think the owners know this – I am invested in progressing the club as a whole. I’ve still got every confidence that he will be here certainly for the foreseeable future.”
The manager tried to be optimistic but the fact that with just around a month to go for the January transfer window, Maja not signing a new contract is a strong indication that the player might be willing to look for a move away. And with Middlesbrough, who knows maybe by next year, the striker could be part of a Premier League side.
Sunderland might be a favourite to move to the Championship themselves, but it is no brainer that a move to the Riverside Stadium should excite this young teenage sensation who has racked up ten goals and two assists in 16 league games so far.
Tony Pulis currently has decent amount of options in the striker’s role as he has the likes of Britt Assombalonga, Rudy Gestede and Jordan Hugill. But the Teessiders have failed to score goals freely even though they sit second on the table currently. Among the top 10 sides, they are second from the bottom regarding goal scored. However, one shouldn’t read much into that stat as that is quite expected from a Tony Pulis side as he is more keen on being defensively solid and organised.
Even though the manager has decent amount of options available, someone like Maja can be a real long-term option for the club, and with his current contract situation, Boro have a good chance of getting him on a cut-price deal. What makes this youngster stand out is his pace and finishing skills. Given that he is quick, we believe he can even be utilised as a winger when required.
However, Maja is at his most lethal when he plays on the shoulders of the defenders and makes darting runs in between defence lines. A player like him would be perfect to play in a counter-attacking system, and Maja can be a real success at Middlesbrough in a few years time. However, there is currently no need of a striker at the club but with someone like Maja being available, the club can definitely make a move for him.