Sunderland manager Gus Poyet believes his decision to keep Lee Cattermole in January was the best transfer move he has made during his time at the club.
Cattermole, 26, looked set to leave the Black Cats in the winter transfer window after Liam Bridcutt was signed from Brighton and Stoke City made a move for the midfielder, but Poyet instead opted to hold onto him after discussions with owner Ellis Short.
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The former Middlesbrough man has since proven himself an integral part of the lineup at the Stadium of Light, as an ever-present in the Premier League so far this season, and his boss is delighted to see him make such an impact.
‘In transfer windows, it's the best decision I have made, I've got no doubt about that,’ he told the Sunderland Echo. ‘I'm sure, with all respect to Stoke and to Catts, he's happier here.
‘His reaction to the decision was spectacular, because - and I'm not talking about Lee here - let's say we get an offer from a top-six team for a player and the offer is good, but it is possible for you to say, “No”.
‘Then you don't know what the reaction of the player will be after he has lost the chance to join a certain team.
‘With everything that happened with Catts before we got here and the momentum of the team at that time in January, it was difficult, and with Liam coming in, he might have wondered how he fitted into the plan. That's only natural.
‘But I spoke to the owner and he said if I did not want to sell, then I didn't have to. I made the decision and it has worked out well for everybody, I think.’