A commonsense end to a long-serving player’s Sunderland career or a shock announcement few saw coming: two ways of seeing today’s news that Lee Cattermole has left with immediate effect.
Cattermole’s departure makes sense because a League One club really should not be paying an injury-prone midfielder a reported £40,000 a week. In any case, financial fair play rules oblige SAFC to cut their wage bill.
It will doubtless become clear in due course whether he received a payoff with one year of his contract left to run – and also a testimonial.
Our first inward signing is Conor McLaughlin, a full back from Milwall with plenty of League 1 experience from his time at Fleetwood. With Adam Matthews and Reece James gone, and Bryan Oviedo likely to leave too, Jack Ross clearly needed an effective replacement. Time will tell but meanwhile we extend a hearty Salut! Sunderland welcome to him.
Read more on the Cattermole story, including the club’s thanks to Catts and his tribute the successive managers and the fans at the club’s website.
There is speculation that he may rejoin one of those managers, Steve Bruce, at Sheffield Wednesday.
Wherever he ends up, 31-year-old Catts leaves with Monsieur Salut’s good wishes.
I have in the past been highly critical of his disciplinary record and was unimpressed by some his nocturnal antics.
But he undoubtedly cleaned up his act on and off the field – in other words he grew up – and was at his best a mighty force for the good in our colours.