Sunderland supporters have been reasonably upbeat in recent times after seeing their side head into the two-week break for internationals off the back of victory in League One.
Jack Ross’ men went into their encounter with Bradford City at Valley Parade off the back of successive league draws at the hands of Coventry City and Peterborough United, yet having lost just once so far this term. And it is now one defeat in 12 for the Black Cats after recording their six victory of the campaign last weekend, with goals from Josh Maja and Jack Baldwin either side of an Anthony O’Connor equaliser sealing a 2-1 success for the North East giants.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Sunderland fans up and down the country in recent times, although several are likely to be concerned regarding the future of 19-year-old Maja, whose blistering start to the season, alongside his expiring contract, has attracted interest from sides above Ross’ men in the Football League pyramid.
But with things going so well at the Stadium of Light for the striker, alongside the promotion challenge Ross appears to be heading, the Englishman would be wise to remain at Sunderland, as leaving for bigger and better things doesn’t always pay off.
Ultimately, the 19-year-old’s rise in the last few years has been nothing short of sensational having made his senior debut for the Black Cats little over two years ago, although it has been this term in which Maja has really proven his worth and announced himself as a player with a very bright future.
The striker has bagged nine goals in just 12 League One appearances for Ross’ side this season to help them win six and draw five of their 12 matches in the third tier, including four in four games to kick off the new campaign.
Thus, it’s pretty obvious that the 19-year-old has got huge ability in front of goal and could be destined for big things, yet a move away so early in his career could prove to be detrimental, especially given he is playing regularly now in a side seeking a return to the Championship.
There appears to be no substitute for regular football at a competitive level and that is exactly what Maja is currently getting, and with the Black Cats very much in position to challenge for promotion, the 19-year-old may well be playing in the second tier next season anyway – after all, regular football in the Premier League is going to be a stretch at this stage of his career.
He only needs to look at former Sunderland striker Joel Asoro as an example of how leaving for bigger and better doesn’t always pay off, what with the young forward struggling for regular minutes at Championship side Swansea City – his difficulties must be of interest to Maja.
As such, while the promise of a likely bigger pay cheque at a higher-ranked side could be enough to sway the 19-year-old, he has got a good thing going at Sunderland, and as has been proven by many over the years, striving for bigger and better early in one’s career doesn’t always prove beneficial.
Thus, the striker should seek to remain at Sunderland and help them return to the Championship this season, as moving on could prove to be a very costly decision.
Sunderland fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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