WEST Bromwich Albion (WBA) manager Sam Allardyce is hoping to bring Nigerian striker Josh Maja to the club before the close of the January transfer window in a desperate bid to add firepower to his team and avoid relegation.
Earlier this month, Mr Allardyce took over WBA but after a promising 1-1 draw with league leaders Liverpool, his side suffered two heavy defeats and now lie 19th in the 20-team table. Maja, 22, who once played for Sunderland in the third tier of English football, now plies his trade with French side Bordeaux.
Already, WBA have made contact with Bordeaux over the striker asking the French side about a loan deal that could become permanent in the summer. Mr Allardyce was Sunderland boss when Maja was there and he seemingly has not forgotten about the Nigerian striker’s quality.
Sheffield United and Birmingham City are thought to also be keen on Maja but West Brom now hope to win the race having initiated contact. Maja scored 16 goals in 30 games for Sunderland during the 2018/19 season, earning him a big move to France with Bordeaux.
Seven goals in 21 league games was a decent return last season but he has only managed two goals in 17 outings this season. His current form means Bordeaux may be open to a deal and two years since leaving English football, Maja could be back if Mr Allardyce gets his way.
Maja made his debut for Nigeria in September 2019 when he came on as an injury time substitute for Victor Osimhen in a 2-2 draw against Ukraine. He is hoping to establish himself as a Super Eagles regular in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup.
If Maja joins WBA, he will play alongside compatriot Semi Ajayi, who has established himself as one of the mainstays of the club. Maja believes that playing in the English Premier League will enhance his chances of featuring for the Super Eagles and establish him as a Nigerian regular.