Former Sunderland director Charlie Methven says the the Black Cats board should have tied down Josh Maja to longer term contract.
Methven says that Maja should not be blamed for the manner of his Stadium of Light exit with the striker now flourishing in the Premier League.
The former Black Cats trainee joined Scott Parker’s struggling Fulham in January who have since mounted a remarkable survival bid.
The 22-year-old scored a brace on his debut at Everton, which led Black Cats fans to reminisce about the January transfer window in 2019, when Maja left to join Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.
Methven, who remains a minority shareholder in the clubs says that Maja should not be blamed for his Stadium of Light exit.
“It certainly wasn’t Josh’s fault,” said Methven, speaking to The Athletic.
“If anything it was our fault, and a lack of communication between the football director and Jack (Ross). We should have made sure he was tied down to a longer contract before they started him as their first-choice striker.
“It was the seminal moment of our ownership of Sunderland.”
The contract talks between Sunderland and Maja were played out in front of the Netflix cameras as part of Sunderland ‘Til I die.
Methven believes it was “unfair” and heightened the “awkward moments”
He said: “It was unfair. It was dramatised, it amped up the awkward moments.
“I don’t think it fully reflected the genuinely difficult position that a young man found himself in.”