Sunderland striker Josh Maja is earning plenty of plaudits for his performances this season.

Despite just being a teenager, he is enjoying a starring role up front for Sunderland and is tipped for big things in the future.

West Ham should definitely be scouting Maja and look to bring him in this January. He would initially be one for the future but with a view to a first-team spot soon.

Here is why the Hammers should look at Maja.

Do West Ham need a young striker?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: Marko Arnautovic of West Ham United celebrates scoring his teams 3rd goal during the Premier League match between Everton FC and West Ham United at Goodison Park on September 16, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

In Marko Arnautovic, West Ham have arguably the best striker outside of the top six. The Austrian is a handful for any defender and already has three goals and an assist in five Premier League games.

But he turns 30 this season and if he gets injured, then West Ham are in trouble.

His back-up is Javier Hernandez, another ageing player who will not be around for much longer. Andy Carroll is too injury prone to rely on as well.

Xande Silva is showing promising signs in the under-23 squad but another young striker would definitely boost West Ham’s long-term plans.

Josh Maja at Sunderland

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND – AUGUST 19: Josh Maja of Sunderland (C) celebrates after he scores the second goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Scunthorpe United at Stadium of Light on August 19, 2018 in Sunderland, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Maja has always been highly regarded at Sunderland but back-to-back relegations from the Premier League to League One has seen him accelerate into a starring first-team role.

The 19-year-old is the first-choice striker at The Stadium of Light. With Charlie Wyke injured at the start of the year, Maja was given his chance and he has taken it.

The talented teenager’s impressive tally of five goals in eight league games cannot go unnoticed.

He is a top talent and Sunderland will do well to resist interest in him this January.

What Maja could offer West Ham

LUTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 11: Josh Maja of Sunderland (L) scores the opening goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Luton Town and Sunderland at Kenilworth Road on August 11, 2018 in Luton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Maja and Silva could be the long-term future for West Ham. With Arnie entering the final few years of his career, he could pass the baton on to this younger duo.

If the Hammers signed Maja now, he could learn so much from three experienced strikers with contrasting styles.

Just watching and copying Arnautovic, Hernandez and Carroll in training would give Maja a more rounded game.

The kid has natural talent and is definitely one to target as a future first-team star.