Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole hails winger James McClean as a solution to the team’s problems

James McClean celebrates scoring Sunderland's second goal against Peterborough on Sunday.

James McClean celebrates scoring Sunderland's second goal against Peterborough on Sunday.

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LEE CATTERMOLE believes James McClean’s explosive emergence has reduced the targets on Sunderland’s January shopping list.

The left-sided midfield role has been a problem position for Sunderland this season, with Seb Larsson, Jack Colback, David Vaughan, Kieran Richardson and Stephane Sessegnon all used there prior to McClean’s inclusion in the starting XI.

Former boss Steve Bruce missed out on long-term left wing target Charles N’Zogbia during the summer and the Black Cats were on the look-out for a suitable alternative in the transfer window.

But since Martin O’Neill promoted McClean from the reserves, the £350,000 summer signing from Derry has provided the balance Sunderland’s midfield was lacking.

Read more about the rising talent of James McClean in today’s Sportmail.