Josh Maja has revealed the reason behind his move from Sunderland to French club Bordeaux.
The striker departed the club in the January transfer window, having scored 15 goals in League One this season.
Maja, per Sky Sports, turned down a new contract at the Stadium of Light to complete a move away from the club.
He surprised many by choosing to move to France in a deal that could, according to the aforementioned report, be worth £3.5million.
Cardiff and Crystal Palace were, Sky reports, also interested in securing Maja’s signature but he has revealed that he opted to move to Ligue 1 in search of first-team football.
He told AFP, via France24: “I just felt I’d get more opportunities abroad, so that was the main reason I left and I thought in France, at Bordeaux, I’d get an opportunity to make a name for myself and go from there.
“I’m around probably the biggest names in world football, so that is just a blessing. I’m grateful.”
Maja has yet to make his debut for Bordeaux but was on the bench as the club lost to PSG last weekend.
Maja had outgrown Sunderland.
He was scoring goals regularly but, such was the interest in him, it was inevitable he would be leaving the club.
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Choosing to join a French club has surprised many but Maja now has the opportunity to mark himself out as something of a trailblazer, and that is only likely to turn more heads.
If he can replicate his League One goalscoring form in Ligue 1, he will do just fine, and may well be moving on again soon enough.
It remains to be seen, of course, if Sunderland will cope without him but, right now, that is unlikely to be at the forefront of Maja’s mind.