The former Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers boss knows the challenge which awaits him to transform the Hammers from a "soft touch", but believes Nolan - who he worked with at the Reebok Stadium - has the perfect characteristics to meet that challenge head on.
"Kevin has been in the Premier League an awful long time at Bolton before he moved to Newcastle," Allardyce said.
"He then guided Newcastle back at the first time of asking, not only with 17 goals, but by being captain.
"I see Kevin as a great player and a great captain off the pitch."
Asked if Nolan could perhaps succeed Parker as skipper, Allardyce added: "He's got the skills to do that.
"He showed that, not only with me at Bolton, but at Newcastle; when you get someone like Joey Barton almost crying on the TV because he's left shows you the respect he has gained.
"That is not just because of what he does on the field, but because of what he is like off it.
"Kevin looks after the players and he drives them on, he creates a team spirit within himself.
"It is not that he comes telling tales to me, he just sorts out the stuff I don't need to know about and then he goes and scores 12 Premier League goals from midfield."