West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has admitted the only reason Kevin Nolan has left the club is because he could not promise him regular football.
The Hammers announced on Thursday that the 33-year-old, who led them back into the Barclays Premier League as captain at the end of the 2011-12 season, had left by mutual consent.
Nolan wore the armband once again on Saturday when he led the team out for their 4-3 home defeat by Bournemouth, but it had become clear that his role would be reduced under new manager Bilic.
Asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier league visit to Liverpool if that was the reason for his departure, the Croatian said: "That is basically the only reason. In the end, it is good for both parties.
"It was not only this week. We had a few chats with Kevin, now he's leaving and I can only say a big thanks to him for the club because he was a great captain and a great professional.
SEE MORE: Read West Ham United’s 2015/16 season preview.
"Even in the short period I experienced working with him, he was a brilliant professional, a hard worker and I wish him well on behalf of the staff, the players and the club."
Nolan joined West Ham from Newcastle in June 2011 and within 14 months, was reunited with close friend Andy Carroll at Upton Park.
Carroll's stay to date has been repeatedly interrupted by injury, although Bilic revealed he is back in training and could be fit for the Magpies' visit to the Boleyn Ground on September 14.
He said: "Andy Carroll was back in training with us this week and felt good. Today he will do the whole session and he is improving. He is injury-free and it is just a matter of fitness now to get him back.
"Before he joined us, he had a minor setback, but this week he is partly training with us and then if everything goes well over the international break, he should participate in the game against Newcastle."
Bilic, who declined to discuss the club's ongoing pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Alex Song, also revealed that striker Enner Valencia has apologized after appearing to criticize the club's medical staff over his treatment during a radio interview.
He said: "I spoke to him yesterday. He's a good lad and he apologized. He knows that the medical department is trying very hard to get him back as soon as possible.
"He said something that I really believe he didn't mean to. He's apologized and for me, that's sorted."
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