Joshua said his dream, has always being for him to return home-and home to the 22-year-old is London-England, where he was born to Nigeria parents. Another of the forward dream is to become a scorer of repute. He may not have reached the pinnacle of his dreams-but he has started well, right after notching two goals on his debut for Fulham-Southwest London. The goals also came on Valentine’s Day, February 14-making it even more special for the Nigerian international.
Maja couldn’t hide his joy after the superlative performance away to Everton.
“This is a night I have been dreamt about,” a delighted Maja stated after the match at Goodison Park.
It was his first Premiership Start and a reunion at Fulham where he had where he started off in the Academy.
Maja joined Fulham from French club Bordeaux during the January transfer window on loan until the end of the season and has quickly settled in the team.
“It is a big one; we came into the game wanting to win it and not had the results we wanted. We are very happy with the win.
“We took our chances when it came and put in another good performance again, we want to continue like this. For the whole 90 minutes, the guys worked hard and stuck to the game plan.
“This is a night I have been dreaming about for a long time, especially last night and I had a feeling it was coming and pleased it became a reality.
“Wins give the fans and players’ confidence and we want to take it into the next game.”
Fulham manager Scott Parker has also praised Maja, describing his performance for his side against Everton as ‘fantastic’.
“Fantastic tonight in terms of scoring two goals. The first move was brilliant and he is there to tap in and the second is a striker’s instinct to knock one in from the rebound off the post,” Parker said in a press conference.
“It has been well-documented that we have missed some big chances; the fine margins are we have not been clinical enough and tonight we were. A big boost for the team, nothing short of what they deserved.”
Maja’s excitement is well understood after the Sunderland saga: A series of bad press that followed his transfer move to Ligue 1 club Bordeaux in 2019.
Maja was doing well on field for the Championship club scoring 16 goals from 30 appearances before rejecting a contract extension that landed him in hot soup. His transfer saga was featured as part of the Netflix documentary Sunderland ‘Til I Die, which attracted negative reactions from fans that had loved him before the bad press.
Looking back Maja said he has moved on from ‘Sunderland Saga,’ though admitted that it was a painful moment for him and his family.
“Basically, I wanted to stay. Given the right contract, I would have stayed.
“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 always knew they were going to portray it like that, to make it look like I’m the bad guy,” he says. “But that’s life. It’s easy to get caught up in the messages, what people are saying about you, but it’s just about staying focused and being true to yourself. I’ve never been the type to focus on what other people think. Not to be arrogant, but people are always going to have opinions. I’ve never been one to let that affect me. I just have to remember who I am and be true to myself.
“It was a good watch, though,” he adds, breaking off into laughter. “When I look back on my time at Sunderland, it will always be bittersweet [after what happened]. It was obviously a difficult decision to leave, but it was about recognising that it was time to take the next step. I’ll always be grateful to everyone there. It wasn’t easy when I first arrived, and I got a lot of support. I’ll always be thankful for that.”
Maja admitted it took a while for him to settle in Ligue 1. A skilful and instinctive striker, still bearing strong resemblances to his cage football grounding, the culture and language were foreign, and the manager’s public admission that the transfer was a “gamble” provided little comfort.
“I definitely think I wasn’t ready to start when I arrived,” he says. “But my quality was always there. I’ve developed technically and tactically, but the biggest difference is my mindset. I’ve had to be patient and focus and just listen to everything the coaches say and pick up lots of little things which can help me to make a big difference. This season, I want to showcase what I’m capable of, to start more games and score more goals.
He defended his decision to move out of England, even though some English clubs were after him.
“It was a decision I made because it was the best for me,” he said. “I don’t play to please people apart from me and my family. I want to be the best I can be and it was the right time to move. I know they are going to be upset but they should respect that it’s my life.
“I could have gone to the Premier League but it would have been very difficult for me to get a lot of game time because a lot of young players in the league don’t get as much as they should,” he added in the spring of 2019