Football administrator Stewart Donald has admitted that the Black Cats would have rather kept hold of the Nigerian international instead of sanctioning his move to France.
Super Eagles striker Josh Maja joined Bordeaux during the 2019 January transfer window for €1.5million, but Sunderland’s owner Donald is convinced it would have been a smarter move to retain the services of the youngster.
The 75-year-old English businessman has revealed that had Maja stayed until the end of last season, the Black Cats would have gained promotion to the Championship.
By the time the 21-year-old striker departed the Stadium of Light, he had netted 16 goals, which eventually helped push Sunderland into the League One play-offs.
The club, though, fell at the final hurdle 2-1 to Charlton Athletic to remain stuck in the English third-tier.
But Donald is sure that Maja could have made the difference for the Black Cats during the play-off finals and that the money the club received in exchange for the player was not worth the heartbreak of the final.
“I haggled the best I could,” said the Sunderland majority shareholder, according to the Sunderland Echo.
“We ended up with I think €1.5million. It’s not a great deal, but it’s the best we could get.
“It isn’t worth anything in comparison to promotion.”