Report: 2019 Celtic target Josh Maja allowed to leave Bordeaux

By David Walton

June 27, 2021

The Daily Mirror has reported that former Celtic target Josh Maja is being allowed to leave Bordeaux this summer [print edition, 27/06 page 76].

Maja was once considered by the Hoops back in January 2019. It was said that Brendan Rodgers was a big fan of the former Sunderland striker [Scottish Sun]. However, in the end, he signed on with the Ligue 1 club as he looked to progress in one of Europe’s top leagues.

Things haven’t worked out since. He only has 11 goals in 48 appearances for the French outfit. He was then shipped out on loan to Fulham for the second half of last season, and things didn’t get much better. With three goals in 15 appearances, he’s struggled badly for form [Transfermarkt].

Now, the Mirror claims Bordeaux are valuing the striker at £9m. Middlesbrough are said to be interested in securing the striker for their Championship push next season. The English club, however, want Bordeaux to lessen their valuation.

Celtic will likely be in the market for a new centre-forward this summer. Should they fail to convince Odsonne Edouard to remain at Parkhead, a big summer signing is a necessity.

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Did Celtic avoid a poor piece of business in Josh Maja?

Maja simply hasn’t come along enough since moving to Bordeaux. He hasn’t shown the same confidence levels that he produced during his Sunderland days. However, the goals he scored with the Black Cats came in England’s League One.

He’s never been a prolific marksman in truth. He’s yet to secure himself a 20-goal season at 22 years of age. Much of this could perhaps be down to his failure to nail down a consistent home.

You have to question where Bordeaux get their £9m valuation from too. Given his poor goal return for a centre-forward, it’s difficult to justify splashing that out on him these days.

Josh Maja on loan at Fulham (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Had Maja been available on the cheap with Bordeaux looking to cut their losses, you could’ve understood it. You could’ve even understood Celtic taking another look. But Maja didn’t look in great form for Fulham last term. He wasn’t particularly quick, often took several touches to control the ball, and was hardly a predatory striker.

If Celtic invested in him now, it would need to be a comeback story from Maja. that may feel premature considering he’s only 22, but he needs a renaissance somewhere.

For now, it looks as though Celtic may have avoided a blunder in splashing out on Maja. Perhaps things would’ve gone differently under Rodgers, but at £9m, we’re unlikely to find out if he could make it at Celtic in the future.

In other news, Celtic could have a new pre-season friendly pencilled in for July 6th.