As transfers go, Lee Cattermole swapping Sunderland for VVV Venlo in Holland wasn’t top of the list of expected moves last summer, but it happened, and the midfielder is very glad it did.
He’s already said as much in an interview with AD, claiming his new adventure in the Eredivisie ‘has been great from the get-go’, but he sat down on Friday with Voetbal International for a far longer chat where he went into a lot of detail about his new life and reasoning behind the move.
He said: “I had fun last season, and played well, but the prospect of another year in League One didn’t make me happy. I experienced so much in all those years at Sunderland. A lot of hassle behind the scenes, many managerial changes, beautiful competitions.
“But since the beginning of my last contract in the Premier League, the situation changed quite a bit. Last summer, the club took the initiative for a discussion about the future. We came to the conclusion that it was better for both parties to part ways. We shook hands, then I was free to explore the world”.
It doesn’t say whether Cattermole had many offers, but there was always a destination in mind for the former England U21 international, which was the Netherlands.
He explained: “I have always been curious about Dutch football. How many great players have come from here? I have experienced so many in England, as a teammate and an opponent. There is so much football knowledge here. I’m 31, that’s not too old to learn. Certainly not when looking at my future”.
Regarding said future, the ex-Sunderland player ‘doesn’t know exactly’ what he wants to do, but he does see himself ‘becoming a coach’.
When VVV Venlo came knocking on his door, Cattermole said to himself: “You know what, why not just do it? I signed for a year to see if I would like it. So far, I’ve had a great time. We’ll see how it goes later. Maybe I’ll stay three years”.
He’s happy, and it seems that there are fun times ahead in the Netherlands for the 31-year-old, who made 262 appearances at Sunderland over his 10 years at the Stadium of Light, during which he scored 10 goals and assisted 11 times.
He has since made five appearances for VVV Venlo, starting and finishing the last three after two cameos from the bench.