Elliott List joined League 2 Stevenage after boss Steve Evans was unable to guarantee him starts.
Evans said he didn’t want List to leave, after admitting he was losing one of the division’s best impact players, but wasn’t willing to stand in his way after finding a new team.
List started for Stevenage on Saturday and played 63 minutes in a 2-2 draw against Macclesfield.
“The chairman said it was my decision as manager,” said Evans. “I have heard some criticisms and one or two members of staff were telling me on Saturday that Elliott List is the best impact player in the league. I don’t disagree.
“I had a player infront of me saying ‘please let me move on’. He wants to start football matches, he is 22, not 19. He says he loves the Gills, he has just over 100 appearances.
“Elliott’s agents went to work and we got a call from Stevenage. We didn’t want to lose Elliott.”
List only started one of the four matches he featured in for the Gills this season. He scored 10 goals for the club, the most memorable his winner against Premier League Cardiff in the FA Cup last season.
But he hasn’t managed to convince Evans this season to start him more frequently, leading to his exit.
Evans said: “Elliott was frequently in my office, not for a cup of coffee! He wanted to play from the start. I think he had the same frustration with Steve (Lovell) last year.
“He was asking if he was going to start 35-40 games and you have to be honest with young men. We said we wanted him to stay, we didn’t want the fee that Stevenage were prepared to pay for him but he spoke to me and asked if he could talk to them.
“He said he wanted to take the opportunity if he liked what he saw when he got there. We had a wonderful exchange of messages and he is a good kid.”