Sunderland’s promising start to the season has been a breath of fresh air for the fans as after two terrible seasons of relegation, Sunderland look like they could well get gain promotion this season after a huge summer of change on Wearside.
With Jack Ross installed as manager by new owner Stewart Donald, Sunderland have not only played a much more enjoyable brand of football but also cleared out some of the deadwood from the side.
The Black Cats currently sit third in the table, four points off league leaders Portsmouth. A huge reason as to why the club finds itself near the top of the table is due to the form of academy graduate Josh Maja who has scored nine goals in the league this season.
With fellow academy graduate Joel Asoro leaving the club, Josh Maja was handed the starting spot ahead of Jerome Sinclair and instead of new signing Charlie Wyke who was still recovering from injury.
Since he’s been handed the starting role, the 19-year-old has blossomed into, as it stands, the most deadly striker in the league. Crucially, with him up front, Sunderland look like a side that could gain promotion back into the Championship this season. Powerful and quick, Maja is ideally suited to the lower league but worryingly for Sunderland, the striker is within the last year of his contract and as it stands hasn’t signed a new contract with the club.
Just like Joel Asoro last season, Sunderland could once again lose their prized asset which would be a massive blow for Jack Ross going forward. While it’s unsure just how could Maja could be, at the moment he’s probably the club’s best player and losing him on a free next summer could have huge ramification on the club.
If Ross wants to take his side back into the Championship and beyond, he must ensure that he keeps a solid core of quality players in his side. Despite his age, Maja is already crucial to the side’s success this season and beyond.
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