Lee Cattermole left League One Sunderland with a year left on his contract before joining Eredivisie outfit VVV Venlo on a free transfer.

Former Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole believes he is playing some of the best football of his career since joining VVV Venlo in the Eredivisie, while speaking to Football Oranje.

After ten years and over 250 appearances with the Black Cats, the long-serving skipper bid farewell over the summer. Sunderland decided to cancel his £40,000 a week contract with 12 months remaining on his deal and a parting of the ways appeared to suit everyone involved.

The Black Cats really couldn’t afford Cattermole’s hefty wages in the third tier while the man himself was desperate for a fresh challenge after spending his entire career in England.

It’s certainly been a ‘challenge’ in Holland so far with Vitesse losing five of their last seven games with the 31-year-old in the engine room, going into November just one place off the bottom of the table.

But Cattermole is happy with how things are going from a personal point of view, believing that he is now a far superior footballer after moving away from the all-action, blood-and-thunder style which characterised his early career.

“I got sent of twice in my first three games (for Sunderland),” he said. “I look back at how eager I was, even in training you keep pushing and pushing. That’s not always the best thing, You need to ease off.

“I’ve definitely become more comfortable in myself and my football in my latter years and I believe I’m playing some of the best football in my career (now).”

Anyone who watched VVV’s 4-1 defeat to Fortuna Sittard on the weekend will argue that Cattermole didn’t exactly look like a player at his peak.

He was at fault for two of the hosts’ four goals, giving away a free-kick which hat-trick hero Mark Diemers thumped into the top corner before gifting possession straight to Ibrahim Ciss en route to Fortuna’s third of the day.

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