The 26-year-old midfield enforcer looked to be on his way out of the Stadium of Light in January when, with Liam Bridcutt arriving from Poyet’s former club Brighton, Stoke made a move for him. The Uruguayan thought long and hard about a man who had effectively been discarded by predecessor Paolo Di Canio, but having sought the counsel of owner Ellis Short, decided to keep him, and has since reaped rich rewards for his faith. Press Association Head coach Poyet told the Sunderland Echo: “In transfer windows, it’s the best decision I have made, I’ve got no doubt about that. I’m sure, with all respect to Stoke and to Catts, he’s happier here. “His reaction to the decision was spectacular, because – and I’m not talking about Lee here – let’s say we get an offer from a top-six team for a player and the offer is good, but it is possible for you to say, ‘No’. “Then you don’t know what the reaction of the player will be after he has lost the chance to join a certain team. “With everything that happened with Catts before we got here and the momentum of the team at that time in January, it was difficult, and with Liam coming in, he might have wondered how he fitted into the plan. That’s only natural. “But I spoke to the owner and he said if I did not want to sell, then I didn’t have to. I made the decision and it has worked out well for everybody, I think.” Bridcutt made an immediate impact when he was handed a debut in the 3-0 derby victory at Newcastle on February 1 with Cattermole not even among the 18-man squad. However, it was he who got the nod for the Capital One Cup final showdown with Manchester City a month later, and he has never looked back since having bought into Poyet’s philosophy and made himself all but indispensable. Gus Poyet is confident the best transfer decision he has made during his time at Sunderland to date was not to sell Lee Cattermole.