By Harvey Byrne

West Ham chairman David Sullivan has moved to explain why the club they sold James Tomkins to Crystal Palace on Tuesday afternoon.

The central defender, 27, completed a move to the Eagles with Alan Pardew’s side paying £10million for his services.

The move saw an end to Tomkins’ 19-year association with the Hammers during which he made 243 appearances for the east London club.

Due to the Academy graduate’s long association to the club, the move may have come as a surprise to West Ham fanz, but Sullivan has explained that the player had requested a move if he was not guaranteed first-team football.

“We thank James for his contribution to the club and we know he is a fantastic player,” he told the club’s official website.

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“But it’s a position we had four players in plus two other players who can play at centre back. James made it clear that if he wasn’t guaranteed first-team football he would consider a move, so it made sense to sell him for a decent price.”

Tomkins played 32 times for West Ham in the recently completed domestic season as Slaven Bilic’s team finished seventh in the Premier League.

The player will not be at the club as they prepare for Europa League football at the Olympic Stadium next season.

The Basildon-born defender was contracted to the club until 2020 but will now make the move across London to join up with his new side having never played for another team since a loan spell with Derby County eight years ago.

Tomkins will link up with Andros Townsend in south London as the duo represent the Eagles two biggest signings so far this summer.

In other West Ham news, Jack Sullivan has revealed the Hammers will announce the arrival of a new player by the end of the week.