Lea Le Garrec has turned down a new deal at Albion.

The French playmaker, who scored a stunning goal at the Amex, is one of seven players leaving the club.

Albion have released Kate Natkiel, who has been with the club since their third-tier days, as well as Amanda Nilden, Fern Whelan, Sophie Harris and Ini Umotong while Maxime Bennink has reached the end of her stint on loan from Reading.

Head coach Hope Powell had hoped to keep Le Garrec, who has been hugely popular after joining on a one-year deal last summer.

She will be best remembered for her spectacular strike in the 3-0 win against Birmingham City.

Powell said: “Lea has been back at home in France during the lockdown and realised how much she has missed her family.

“We’ve had lots of chats and she was very torn, but her family wanted her to stay and that was the deciding factor.

“She told me that she loved being part of the club and living in the city. She is very sad to be leaving but family comes first and we of course respect her decision and wish her all the best for the future.”

Powell said there had been tough decisions to make on contracts.

She added: “Letting players go is never easy and there was a lot of discussion among all of the staff before we made what were extremely difficult decisions.

“I would like to thank Kate, Amanda, Sophie, Fern, Ini and Maxime for their commitment, dedication and hard work during their time here at Brighton.

“They have always been totally professional and great team-mates. We wish them well for the future and will of course support them if they decide to continue in the professional game.”