Sunderland manager, Chris Coleman has praised two of the youngest players in the first team squad Josh Maja and Joel Asoro, adding that they should not rest on their laurels as the club bids to avoid relegation from the Championship this season. The 19-year-old Maja has 12 appearances under his belt in the second-tier this term, while Asoro, 18, has played 17 games, scoring two goals and providing two assists. ‘’George Honeyman is only 23 and we also have Joel Asoro and Josh Maja at 18 and 19 playing for us,’’ Coleman told the official website of Sunderland. ‘’We forget all that but these are young boys who are going to be good – Paddy McNair is only 22 – and there’s a lot of good things here.”
‘’I know being at the bottom of the Championship for a club like us leaves a sour taste, of course, but if we can just get through it – by hook or by crook – there’s a lot of good young players.’’ Ex-Manchester City youthteamer Maja was called-up to the Super Eagles squad ahead of their friendly against Burkina Faso in March 2017 but could not attend the get-together in London due to club commitments.
Maja – full name Joshua Erowoli Orisunmihare Oluwaseun Maja – was born in Lewisham 18 years ago, but revealed in February he was eligible to play for Nigeria. “I am originally from London but my family is from Nigeria,” he revealed. “I grew up with my three brothers and my mom and sister.” Maja was one of three English-based players that trained with Nigeria, along with Chelsea’s England Under-20 defender Ola Aina and QPR’s Scottishborn Ebere Eze.