Southend United boss Phil Brown says Jack Payne has made the wrong choice in rejecting a new Roots Hall contract to join Huddersfield Town .
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has signed a three-year deal at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Town and League I Southend remain in talks over compensation.
Former Derby County, Hull City and Preston North End manager Brown said: “If I’m being honest, I don’t think this is the right move for Jack.
“I think he was developing nicely with us and would have been better suited to continuing that for a year or two and getting more games under his belt before then looking to leave.
“I think it’s indicative of today’s society because everyone wants everything tomorrow, it seems.
“But Jack was brilliant for us and I do wish him well for the future.”
Town head coach David Wagner says Payne will improve by playing in the Championship.
“It’s great we’ve been able to bring a player like Jack to Huddersfield, as many clubs were understandably interested in him,” he said.
“In my opinion he is probably one of the most interesting young British midfielders in the country.
“I am proud that we will have the chance to help him to develop his potential to his highest level in the future.
“Quality ‘number 10s’ are, in my opinion, the hardest players to find and it is not regular that players of Jack’s quality become available.
“Jack is already excellent technically and has a great record of scoring goals, but at just 21 he has lots of room to develop further.
“His desire to improve was very clear from our very first meeting and he will do that with us in the Championship.
“We will work hard with him in pre-season as he comes to understand our ideas and style on the pitch and I am sure he will be a big part of what we do in the coming season.”