West Ham co-owner David Sullivan says the club were forced to sell a "flawed" Dimitri Payet, who he feels will never fulfil his potential.
The now 30-year-old Frenchman was excellent for the Hammers following his switch from Marseille in 2016 and was named Premier League Player of the Year at the 2016 London Football Awards.
And despite having signed a five-year contract with the club in 2015, that he renewed a year later, to become the club's highest-paid player on £125,000 a week, the flamboyant striker returned to Marseille in January 2017.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Sullivan said: "We knew Dimitri was flawed, and that's why we got him for £10.5m.
"It was a fantastic buy, but we knew we bought a flawed individual and someone who could well go on strike – he had done it all before.
"That's why he never reached his full potential as a player and why big clubs have steered clear of him. But, I've got to say he was a fantastic servant for the club. He gave us 18 wonderful months, particularly the first 12 months.
"We didn't want to sell him but we got around two and half times what we paid for him and you've got to say it is good business. It's not what we wanted but, as a club like West Ham, sometimes we have to sell.
"We wouldn't have sold him unless we had to. We had meeting after meeting with him – he wanted out and the manager wanted him out. He didn't want to have an unhappy camp.
"Personally, I would have made him stick it out for six months and given him a hard time, but if the manager says he's unsettling the whole camp, you've got to support the manager."