Sunderland's failure to discard Lee Cattermole could be blessing in disguise

Sunderland manager Jack Ross takes questions during a press conference at The Stadium of Light on August 2, 2018 in Sunderland, England.

Lee Cattermole was linked with a return to the Championship via Hull City but could now stay to help Sunderland in League One.

Sunderland manager Jack Ross during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Charlton Athletic at Stadium of Light on August 4, 2018 in Sunderland, United Kingdom.

Sunderland went into the latter stages of the transfer window desperately trying to get rid of some of their highest earners. But, as it stands, Papy Djilobodji, Didier Ndong and Bryan Oviedo remain at the Stadium of Light, though The Black Cats do have until the end of the month to sell them to foreign clubs.

One player who looks set to stay for the 2018/19 season, however, is Lee Cattermole.

The best-paid player in Sunderland’s squad was a loan target for Hull City, according to the Sunderland Echo, but has so far failed to secure a move away from the Stadium of Light.

 

But could this be a blessing in disguise? Cattermole has lost his captain’s armband to George Honeyman and was nowhere to be seen in the 2-1 opening day victory against Charlton Athletic – but he could play a vital role if Sunderland want to return to the Championship at the first attempt.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 03:Lee Cattermole of Sunderland during the Sky Bet Championship match between Millwall and Sunderland at The Den on March 3, 2018 in London, England.

On paper, the 30-year-old should be one of the most influential midfielders in League One and his experience could prove vital in a Sunderland squad full of talented yet unproven young players. 16-year-old Bali Mumba and Josh Maja started that home clash with Charlton on Saturday while Elliot Embleton, Denver Hume and Luke Molyneux were all on the bench.

Cattermole might be a drain on Sunderland’s resources but he could also represent one of their best hopes of fighting for promotion in League One.

Lee Cattermole of Sunderland kicks the ball during a pre-season friendly game between Darlington FC and Sunderland AFC at Blackwell Meadows on July 10, 2018 in Darlington, England.

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