Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn says Stephen Warnock's place in the first team was not guaranteed, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
This is despite him holding the captain's armband prior to his injury, with Jason Pearce left out of the side.
Charlie Taylor has stepped in at left-back and performed well, and owner Massimo Cellino confirmed via The Sun this week Warnock would be departing, having accepted an offer from Derby County.
Neil Redfearn was tight-lipped on the circumstances of Warnock's departure, but said that Charlie Taylor's performances meant the departing defender's first team place was not guaranteed.
“No disrespect to Stephen Warnock but I actually think that the way Charlie’s played would have left Steve with a fight on his hands to get back in the team."
"He was excellent at Bolton and he looks comfortable in the team. No matter what’s gone on with Stephen Warnock, it’s wrong to be holding Charlie back. The time’s right for him and he needs a run."
This is no parting shot from Redfearn, its the reality that even Warnock embraced when out of the side, sending a message on Twitter on January 6 that the youngster's performances would give him a real challenge.
His message that the future is in good hands bodes well for Leeds along with Redfearn's clear confidence in Charlie Taylor.
Redfearn has shown already this season he is unafraid to drop a captain, with Jason Pearce left out for Liam Cooper, and intentionally or not, Warnock may have moved on before he was moved aside.