New arrival at Girondins-Bordeaux of France, Josh Maja has taken a look back at where he is coming from, and declared emphatically that he has fond memories of ‘blessed days’ he enjoyed with Sunderland.
Although Maja eventually left The Black Cats under a storm, after he refused to sign a new contract with the English third tier side, the one-time Super Eagles invitee has refrained from bad-mouthing the team.
Rather than haul invective at the former English Premier League side, The Black Cats’ top scorer, before joining Samuel Kalu at Bordeaux, said Sunderland is a special team with amazing fans.
Footballlive.ng reports further that Maja is still filled with memories of his days at The Stadium of Light and, though he admits there were some bad moments in between, he insists the fans were very supportive.
Maja, who began his career with Fulham before moving to Sunderland in 2015, was offered a new deal as his current contract was due to run out in the summer but he rejected the offer.
The 20-year-old, who has 15 goals in the English League One, departed for France after signing a four-and-a-half-year deal with Les Girondins.
Maja will wear the number 27 shirt with his new club, for which the fee was not officially disclosed but is understood to be around £3.5m.
The striker, who scored on his debut after being drafted in last season during the club’s perilous stint in the Championship, had also attracted interest from West Ham United and Cardiff City.
Maja posted an emotional farewell message to Sunderland on social media: “Would like to express how much of an honour it was to break through into senior football at such a special club, that is Sunderland.
“I had many blessed moments during my time at Sunderland and also some bad moments but you guys always stuck by me so I’ll always be grateful for that.”
Sunderland stated: ‘Josh Maja has completed a move to Bordeaux. The 20-year old Sunderland AFC academy graduate has joined the French Ligue 1 side on a permanent basis.’
Bordeaux added: ‘Everyone here at the club is delighted to welcome such an exciting young talent to Bordeaux. Welcome to Bordeaux Josh!’