This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock is eyeing a move for Bordeaux striker Josh Maja, according to The Mirror (via ChronicleLive).
Maja came through the Sunderland academy before moving to the French club and impressed while on loan at Fulham last term.
Bordeaux are understood to be looking to sell the striker and Boro are said to be keen but the asking price would need to drop for a deal to be done.
So, would he be a good signing for the North East club? And do they need him?
We quizzed our FLW writers for their thoughts…
This would be an excellent signing for Boro this summer.
Maja has shown that he can score goals in the Premier League not so long ago, and he could turn out to be a brilliant signing for Neil Warnock’s side.
Boro certainly need additional attacking options, with both Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga leaving the club at the end of the 2020/21 season.
If the likes of Duncan Watmore can provide Maja with the service he needs to score consistently, then you wouldn’t put it past Middlesbrough making a serious push for promotion into the Premier League this term.
It would be a real statement of intent by Boro if they can get this deal over the line in the near future.
What was the score the last time Middlesbrough played each of these 25 teams?
This might not be a bad signing for Middlesbrough to make.
It is obvious that Neil Warnock’s side are going to have to add to their attacking options this summer, following the departures of the likes of Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher.
Admittedly Maja’s record on loan at Fulham during the second half of last season was far from prolific, although it could be pointed out that he did not get a great amount of game time with which to really impress at this level.
It should also be remembered that Maja did previously have an excellent record in League One with Sunderland, even at what was still a very early stage of his career.
As a result, with the experience of a few years of top-flight football with Bordeaux and Fulham behind him since then, the attacker could be able to make a real impact in the Championship in the coming campaign, so this does seem worth looking into for ‘Boro.
I think that Maja would be a revelation at Championship level and with Middlesbrough’s interest now apparent, I would be shocked if a lower-end Premier League team didn’t come in for him.
If Fulham remained in the Premier League I could have seen them triggering the £9 million option in his loan deal from last season – he may have only scored three times in 15 matches but he’s still got the potential to improve.
Middlesbrough are in desperate need of strikers with just Chuba Akpom at the club right now, and if Steve Gibson is willing to finance a big one to come in then I can’t think of many better on the market than Maja.
He hasn’t had the best time of things in France, but at the age of 22 he is not the finished article by a long shot and a move back to familiar surroundings in the north east could bring out the best in him.
If Boro were to pull this deal off then I could see Maja being one of the league’s top scorers next season – providing he would get the service needed to put the ball in the back of the net.