Johnson tipped to 'kick on'
Cattermole backs winger to be a big hit on Wearside
Last Updated: September 7, 2012 11:18am
Adam Johnson: Joined Sunderland in an effort to find regular first-team football
Lee Cattermole is backing Adam Johnson, a man he has been reunited with at Sunderland, to be a domestic and international success story with the Black Cats.
Having found first-team opportunities difficult to come by throughout a frustrating spell at Manchester City, Johnson opted to make a move to the Stadium of Light towards the end of the summer transfer window.
The 25-year-old now finds himself back in his native North East, and playing alongside a fellow graduate of Middlesbrough's academy system.
Cattermole came through the youth ranks at Boro with Johnson and he is convinced that tricky winger will go from strength to strength after deciding to put game time at Sunderland before life in the shadows at reigning Premier League champions City.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "To come back to the North East, he will get a lot of attention around here. Sometimes that's hard to handle.
"But Johnno's a great lad and he's shown the desire to come because he wants to play.
"He's going to further his career, kick on and be a full England international all the time. I'm sure when the next World Cup comes along, he's going to be in it."
Cattermole admits he helped to convince Johnson that a switch to Wearside was right for him, with the midfielder having sold Sunderland to a close friend once he became aware of the club's interest.
He added: "Once the club got permission to speak, I gave him a ring and said. 'You will absolutely love it'.
"It's a big thing for him. He played in the team that won the Premier League last year. It was a big ask for him to come away from there.
"Johnno is a phenomenal player and to have him here at the age he's at is brilliant for the club. He's in the prime of his career and he's only going to get better."