By 90Min
October 06, 2019

West Ham captain Mark Noble has admitted he is still saddened by the club's decision to sell James Tomkins to Crystal Palace back in 2016. 

The pair came through the Hammers' famous academy and played with each other for a total of nine seasons. Tomkins was moved on to Crystal Palace in the summer of 2016, with West Ham's co-owner explaining the move was made as the defender wanted first-team football.  

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It caused controversy at the time, however, with West Ham fans devastated to see someone who so embodied the values of their club transferring to their local rivals. 

Writing for Friday's Evening Standard, Noble said: "It will be nice to see my old mate James Tomkins when Crystal Palace arrive tomorrow (Saturday).

"James is coming back from a groin injury, but he's a top player and it's still a personal regret that we sold him.

"He used to live just a few houses from me, but he has moved now, so there is no chance of me sending up another drone over his place, which is what I did once, so he's safe!"

Julian Finney/GettyImages

It wasn't the happiest of reunions for the pair, however, as Tomkins failed to get off the bench for Palace while Noble's West Ham fell to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to their rivals. 

The defeat was only the Hammers' second of the season and Manuel Pellegrini's side still sit in a solid seventh place after eight matches. They will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they face an out-of-form Everton in two weeks time following the international break.

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