Josh Maja discusses his Sunderland exit and reveals why he wanted to leave the club
Josh Maja has spoken out on his Sunderland exit - and has revealed his key reasons for leaving the Stadium of Light.
The 20-year-old departed Wearside last month after a protracted contract saga which saw the Black Cats offer their top scorer drastically improved terms.
But the youngster was keen to secure a move away and, knowing he would be able to leave for a minimal fee come the summer, Sunderland acted swiftly and finalised a switch to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.
The striker was on the bench for Les Girondins against PSG last weekend, giving him a taste of the calibre of opposition he could come up against.
And while Maja is yet to fully feature for the French outfit, he has revealed that a desire to play alongside some of the best players in the world is what fuelled his desire to leave the North East.
"I just felt I'd get more opportunities abroad, so that was the main reason I left," he told AFP."And I thought in France, at Bordeaux, I'd get an opportunity to make a name for myself and go from there.
"I'm around probably the biggest names in world football, so that is just a blessing. I'm grateful."
Maja has already settled into his surroundings in Bordeaux - and is soon to be joined by his family in France.
He hopes that, with them alongside him, he can continue to develop knowing he has the security of a long-term deal at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.
"It's a beautiful city, with nice food, nice people, very historic," he explained.
"I've got four and a half years here, so I've got all that time to settle in and make a name for myself, develop, improve as a player and a person, and that's why I'm pleased to be here."
While his short-term future lies in France, Maja hasn't ruled out a return to England in the future.
And he admits that a move to the Premier League - and particularly his boyhood club Arsenal - would be a 'dream'.
"Yeah obviously that is a dream," added the striker.
"That is the team I support, so it would be a great opportunity to play there."