Speaking to Goals on Sunday, Kevin Nolan explained why he decided to leave West Ham after holding talks with head coach Slaven Bilic, having ended his contract by mutual consent last month.
The 33-year-old said: “It was a wrench to leave West Ham, but it was the right time. Slaven was brilliant when he came in and we got on really well. He was honest and we just came to the agreement that it would probably be best if I moved on. He said 'you're not guaranteed a place', which I've never had in my entire career, contrary to what people think, when I played under Sam. But he was wanting to bring in a lot of midfielders, which would have put me back a bit more.”
Following the departure of Sam Allardyce over the summer, it was always expected that Nolan would find his place under threat at the Boleyn Ground.
This turned out to be the truth, and the arrival of a number of other midfielders during the transfer window pushed the veteran further down the pecking order.
He was never going to get into the side ahead of the likes of Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang and Alex Song, whilst Bilic had even looked towards Reece Oxford and Josh Cullen ahead of Nolan.
His exit came at the right time for both club and player, and with Bilic telling him that he was not guaranteed a place, Nolan made the right decision to end his contract with West Ham.