Sep 23, 1975
|Age||47 years old|
Disappointed by the performances of Gourvennec, Delaye, Danic and Bigné, Manager Christian Gourcuff decided to rebuild the Rennes midfield during the Winter of 2002. Aside from Sorlin, Laurent Batlles arrived in Brittany from Bordeaux to become playmaker. Beneath the guise of a counterfeit-Zidane, the player – who was born in Nantes – strung together a number of convincing performances, and was a key figure in the successful battle to stave off relegation from the top flight, and that, whilst playing in a much more withdrawn role than he had been used to at his previous clubs. The following season, however, turned out to be anything but stable. Philippe Bergeroo liked him as a player, and he was irreplaceable in the starting line-up until the 8th game. The sacking of Bergeroo, and the arrival of his replacement Vahid Halilhodzic, effectively ended his hopes for a future at the Rennes. The youngsters Bourillon, Didot and N’Diaye were chosen ahead of him as linking midfielders. The story ended exactly where it had all started, during the Winter transfer window. A year after signing for Rennes, he joined Bastia, where he was able to kickstart his career once more.