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Laurent Courtois is hoping to resurrect his career near Marseille with FC Istres after leaving West Ham.

The diminutive left midfielder has not figured in the first team this season after making five starts and three substitute appearances last season following his move from France.

A return to the less physical French league, where he previously played for Tolouse, should benefit the amicable 24 year old, about whom Glenn Roeder says:

"At his age he needs to be playing first team football, and in the last six months he has tried hard, but it has been personally difficult for him as he found it tough to play reserve team football when he wanted to be involved in the first team.

"The main thing is we came to a satisfactory agreement and we wish him all the best - although he has gone to the second division his ambition is to play well enough to find a Premier League club in France.

"He didn't cost any money, he is a decent lad, and he was worth taking a chance with.

"We have allowed him to leave on a free transfer and I am pleased we have had a look at him; while he was here he was a decent professional and he goes with all our best wishes."