Sunderland boss Poyet is convinced he can make the combative midfielder a better player after watching him star in the essential victory over Newcastle at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
The 25-year-old looked as though he had no future under former boss di Canio - he may well have been sold in the summer had it not been for an injury - but under Poyet he is enjoying a renaissance and there are bigger things to come, according to the former Brighton manager.
The Uruguayan said: "I am sure we are going to make Lee a much better player than what people think, and that tells you how important he is for the football club.
"He is paying attention, he is always asking questions, he is always learning and if someone needed to play in this game above any game, it was Lee Cattermole, so there was no doubt in my mind about who was starting in the middle.
"Then, of course, you have got options, but I am sure he is going to be much better, and I hope he is going to keep helping us."