This question has been posed many times over the transfer window. This question also may be irrelevant, due to rumors of St Ettiene, to be in talks with the Mali International.
Many have doubted his talent because of his performances last year. I think this is unfair to judge, last year Sam played Maiga out of place a lot of the time, having him play on the wings. There is nothing worse than a player being played out of position if he does not enjoy the position. However Maiga many times has been quoted to look like a headless chicken and lack composure in front of goal.
Maiga has proven himself all be it pre-season and has shown the claret and blue faithful glimpses of talent. For example his goal against Southampton and his pin point cross to spot Nolan against Reading on the last day of the season.Personally I believe we should of played Maiga instead of Cole. If you look at Maiga’s stats however, they aren’t that bad. He has scored 3 or 4 times in pre-season. In the league last year he started two times and scored 2 times but he came on as a sub 15 times. That’s two goals in two starts.  Also it is 2 goals in 2 starts in the league cup.
Maiga should be given a second season at least to prove his worth, after all he cost us around 5 million. It took Parker about a year to get in to his groove. However it does look like we will be signing a new striker but as things stand, Maiga will be playing the Cardiff match. We all gleamed with joy last season when we saw Maiga take it round Given and nearly make it 2-0 on our first day back.
Neil McDonald expressed if Maiga wants to prove himself his chances are there this season. It would be nice to see Maiga do well this season. With the first 4 games there for Maiga to start due to being Carroll out, what better an opportunity to show us, that he is good enough.
In terms of covering for Carroll, Maiga certainly has more pace and could dribble or take it round a player or two. If he can get on the end of some of the crosses and work on his finishing I think Maiga is adequate enough for cover for big Andy. I would like to see him stay for at least another year.