Bordeaux youngster Josh Maja would have loved to continue his development in the country of his birth but Sunderland’s poor offer forced him to seek greener pastures, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Super Eagles star is pleased to play for the former French champions but he would not have considered moving abroad had the Black Cats shown more desire to retain his services.
Born in England to Nigerian parents, Maja began his professional career with League One side Sunderland where he made 49 appearances, scoring 17 goals.
However, after a contract tussle that couldn’t be resolved, the 21-year-old opted to join Bordeaux in January 2019 for £3.5 million. The youngster has since blossomed in France and has made his international debut with the Super Eagles.
But things could have gone differently had Sunderland valued him more.
“Basically, I wanted to stay (at Sunderland). Given the right contract, I would have stayed,” Maja told the Sunderland Echo.
“But at the time, I don’t think Sunderland were prepared to give me what I wanted so when the opportunity to play in one of Europe’s top five leagues came up, I couldn’t turn that down.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was one which to improve my career and my game I think I had to make.
“I have ambitions in my career and in my life and this is just a stepping stone for me.
“I want to keep pushing and fans need to understand what players want for themselves.
“Even though that is a bit selfish, it’s a selfish game, isn’t it?
“For me it was important to make that move and playing at a higher level, it’s a given.”
Maja is Bordeaux’s co-topscorer with seven goals, the latest of which arrived in last night’s 3-2 defeat at National 1 side, Pau, in the Coupe de France.