Because last season’s 15-goal forward was under 23, the Pilgrims had the right to retain his services this campaign.
But Elliott told The Standard that he wanted to move his squad in a different direction, and felt it wouold be unfair to string Tshimanga along.
“This is the thing, supporters see it as ‘Craig’s released whoever it is’,” he explained.
“But players come to you and say ‘am I going to be part of your plans?’ We had a conversation and I could never give anybody guarantees.
“He wanted guarantees he’d be my number nine this year and I just couldn’t do that.
“With the players I’ve signed it would be hard to do that to the lad. We all know he’s a talent and he’ll go on to do well.”
Focus has changed at the Jakemans Stadium this campaign, with Elliott opting to work with a smaller squad, but with the emphasis on everyone being in contention for a starting berth.
“I do want this year, if I’m signing somebody, that they’re going to be part of it, they’re going to be trusted,” he added.
“That’s what I need to do. I don’t want to kill people’s careers.
“I’m going for quality over quantity and it’s important that everybody here is a big part of my plans.”