How Josh Maja can learn from Jack Colback and these Sunderland academy products during contract talks

As speculation continues to surround Josh Maja's future at Sunderland, he doesn't have to look far for guidance.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 03 January, 2019, 09:01
Josh Maja is weighing-up a new deal at Sunderland

Such has been the success of Sunderland's academy in recent years that several of their graduates have been offered opportunities to leave the Stadium of Light, with Maja the latest to be linked away. As Maja continues discussions over a new contract, he may cast an eye on some of his predecessors who have enjoyed varying levels of success since leaving the Stadium of Light. Here, we take a look at nine of the Black Cats' academy products whose journeys after leaving Wearside could offer the striker some guidance:

After progressing through Sunderland's academy, Colback became a first-team regular at the Stadium of Light before swapping Wearside for Tyneside, joining Newcastle United in 2014. His move didn't quite work out as planned, though...
On the flip side, former Sunderland skipper and academy graduate Henderson has flourished since leaving the Black Cats, becoming a first team regular at Liverpool and a key player for England.
The striker was a rare shining light for Sunderland last season after joining the club's academy from his native Sweden. But Asoro has struggled for game time since joining Swansea in the summer.
Another success story is that of Pickford, who has become Everton and England's number one since leaving Sunderland. The Washington-born stopper is a fine example of a player who has pushed on since leaving the Black Cats.

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The attacking midfielder turned down a new deal at Sunderland to join Roy Keane's Ipswich back in 2010. He failed to make an appearance for the Tractor Boys but, similarly to Maja, he flourished in League One.
Released by the Black Cats in 2011, Egan is another who dropped down to League One in order to build-up his career. The centre back starred at Gillingham before joining Brentford and later Sheffield United in the Championship.
Bridges swapped Sunderland for Leeds in 1999 but, despite some initial success, he failed to impress at Elland Road. The striker went on to live something of a nomadic lifestyle as his career petered out.
Leadbitter is one who turned down a move from Sunderland, resisting Premier League interest after the club's relegation in 2006. He has gone on to forge a successful career and is perhaps a good example for Maja.
The young stopper joined Tottenham from Sunderland in 2007 but made only three appearances for the Whites and was shipped out on loan to several lower league clubs. Another good example of why it may be better to stay put.