Cattermole seems to be finding his best form at the right time.
The Black Cats are just outside the bottom three on goal difference and Allardyce has identified the midfielder's qualities as the driving force to help the side retain their top flight status once again.
He's quoted in the Chronicle saying: “Having that driving force in midfield is very important in the engine room. Lee’s grit, desire, drive and determination can lead the team and make them feel good.
“We can rely on him to break up the opposition’s attacks, close their danger men down and use it well."
Cattermole is certainly a key player in the middle of the park and he has a reputation for being an aggressive player, and in these situations near the bottom, you do need the kind of players that are prepared to do the dirty work in that vital area of the field.
It may not bee glamorous but it can generate an atmosphere when you have got players that are prepared to put in the odd crunching tackle and put their side on the front foot as a result.
Allardyce does also add that Jack Rodwell and Jan Kirchhoff have pivotal roles to play in the make-up of that central midfield unit.
In recent weeks the side's midfield has been working pretty effectively, and Cattermole seems to have found some of his best form once again at a crucial time of the season.