Football

Super Eagles looking at Josh Maja

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says he wants to persuade Bordeaux’s English-born forward Josh Maja to play for international football for Nigeria.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says he wants to persuade Bordeaux’s English-born forward Josh Maja to play for international football for Nigeria.

The former Sunderland and Fulham forward is eligible to feature for the Super Eagles, after being born to Nigerian parents.

Maja scored 15 goals in 24 appearance for the Black Cats in League One last season, before earning the switch to France to play for the Ligue 1 outfit.

The 20-year-old has so far scored just twice in 10 appearances for Bordeaux, but Rohr is keen to persuade him to play for the country of his ancestry.

“I ate with Samuel Kalu and Josh Maja, who is a second Nigerian in Bordeaux and is eligible for Nigeria. I already started talking with him about the national team,” Rohr told Le Point G in France.

“He can easily play in the friendly matches (for Nigeria), but he can only do it because he has not played for the under-20’s.”

Maja would not have to make an application to Fifa to play for Nigeria, as he has never represented another nation at youth level.

Nigeria have a friendly against Ukraine coming up which serves as a warm up match to the start of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying stage. Despite having already named his squad for that match, Rohr is hopeful Maja will be able to join up if he declares himself available.

“We have a game in Ukraine, and I’ve been informed that it might be too late to get visas for players who do not have a European passport,” said Rohr.

“But he [Maja] does not have this issue because he is English, so he could eventually join us. It is very possible that I pick him to go to Ukraine.”

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