Danny Collins has revealed that he wanted to stay with Sunderland and was surprised when Steve Bruce allowed him to join Stoke City.
The 29-year-old defender featured in more than 150 matches for the Black Cats and won the club's player of the year award last season but was allowed to move to the Brittania Stadium last month.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "It was a bit of a bolt out of the blue, to be honest, because I thought we'd done all right and I thought we were looking well set.
"I'd had the honour of captaining the side for the first three games and we'd won two out of three and, although Chelsea was always going to be a struggle, we'd only conceded one goal in the other two games and made our best start to a Premier League season.
"But the manager called me in and told me he was looking to bring in a couple of new players and that the number of games I might play could be limited in the future.
"It was pretty clear to me that I didn't really figures in his plans.
"I've got a lot of friends at the club, in the team and from the area and I genuinely wish the lads well."