West Brom manager Sam Allardyce is reportedly eyeing a reunion with one of his former players this January transfer window…
According to the Sunday Mirror [10/01, page 72], the Baggies could want Bordeaux striker Josh Maja on a loan deal for the rest of the season.
It’s claimed that the Midlands outfit could sign him permanently in the summer should they keep their top-flight status, which right now looks to be in serious jeopardy.
Maja was a 17-year-old rookie at Sunderland when Big Sam was in charge back in 2015/16.
The need for a new striker at the Hawthorns has increased tenfold in recent weeks.
Allardyce’s side already ranked among the Premier League’s worst attacks having scored just 11 goals in 17 outings – only better than two other teams in the division.
And now they have moved on Charlie Austin, who has rejoined former club QPR on loan, despite the devastating injury blow to summer signing Karlan Grant, who is now out for the next six weeks at least.
Against Blackpool in the FA Cup on Saturday, the 66-year-old had to deploy a strikerless formation which saw Matheus Pereira act as a false nine – they were subsequently knocked out, so it clearly didn’t go to plan.
The 22-year-old, who earns a reported £57k-per-week, could be an interesting solution to this nightmare.
Maja enjoyed a very decent run in Ligue 1 last term, bagging six goals, primarily from the bench as 15 of his 21 appearances were as a substitute, though this season, he’s not been able to replicate such form with just two goals in 11 starts, per WhoScored.
Despite the way he acrimoniously departed the Black Cats in 2018, the young striker still received many plaudits from his time at the club – former boss Jack Ross lauded him “fantastic” to work with on and off the pitch, whilst his ex-Bordeaux manager Paulo Sousa dubbed him a “scorer” with “sharp and strong qualities.”
At 5 foot 11, he’s the exact same fit and profile of former Albion frontman Saido Berahino, especially as Jermain Defoe mentored him at the Stadium of Light – a player who Victor Anichebe compared to the controversial striker in 2013.
Two years later, Berahino bagged 14 goals in 38 games for West Brom in the top-flight, Allardyce would surely love to see Maja come in and replicate such form.
Once dubbed a “unique talent” by local Sunderland journalist Phil Smith, Maja could be a bargain solution to Big Sam’s increasing problems.
AND in other news, Allardyce must axe £38k-p/w disaster after another pathetic display…