Stewart Donald believes Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole ‘deserves’ a testimonial – and hinted that it could happen as early as this summer.
Cattermole is set to enter his tenth year on Wearside in the 2019/20 season, having joined the club from Wigan Athletic in August 2009.
And supporters have vociferously called for the popular midfielder to be handed a testimonial this summer, in honour of his decade-long service at the Stadium of Light.
Such plans could now become a reality, with owner Donald admitting that he feels the 31-year-old ‘deserves’ a testimonial having been left impressed with how he conducts himself around the club.
Speaking to the Roker Rapport Podcast, Donald said: “I think Lee Cattermole should get his testimonial, yes. I think he deserves it.
“We had a conversation this time last year about Lee when we first came in, regarding his agent and the bottom line is, from the moment I’ve met him and seen him around the place, you can’t begrudge a penny that the boy earns.
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“His contract is his contract. Everyone makes a lot of it and it is expensive to the club, but my god does the boy care about the club and try.
“He’s done that continually for loads of seasons.”
And Donald has hinted that a testimonial could even take place this summer and could tie-in with the one pre-season friendly scheduled to take place at the Stadium of Light.
He admits, however, that no talks have taken place as of yet regarding such an occasion – but he is determined to make sure Cattermole receives recognition.
“I’m not quite sure what the rules around testimonials are,” he admitted.
“But I think we had one game planned here [at the Stadium of Light] for the summer and I did wonder whether we should hijack that for his testimonial.
“I haven’t had that conversation, but I think he should have one, is fully deserving of one as a club we should make sure that happens.”