But Downing has countered those comments, saying his hands were tied when he was offloaded to the Hammers for £6million.
"I spoke to the manager and he said he wanted me to stay. So I'm disappointed that one minute I was staying and the next minute I'm gone," said Downing.
"It was a surprise because it happened so quick. One minute I was in the starting XI for Liverpool, and the next I was on my way to London.
"I was playing in the team and playing regularly and that's why I was surprised to be told that a fee had been accepted. It is normally when you are not playing, or you are not in the squad is why you leave."
He added: "Obviously, I've got a four-year contract but having the opportunity to play was the big thing. At my age, I need to play. And in a World Cup year, I need to be in with a chance.
"Maybe for the club it was an unbelievable offer, I don't know."