Date: 28th June 2007 at 3:42pm
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So £1million has been enough for Sunderland to snatch the best Scottish defender in the SPL and Aberdeen`s best player.

With all the funny money flying around down in England and Roy Keane having been awarded £20 million to build a team capable of staying in the Premiership next season, it doesn`t seem like a hell of a lot of cash for an international defender with the best years still ahead of him.

But Aberdeen didn`t want to play hard ball with Russell being out of contract next season and took the money that was on offer after Russell agreed personal terms that Aberdeen could never compete with.

Willie Miller told the club website why the Sunderland deal had to be accepted, ‘The fact that we’ve secured a seven figure deal for Russell is, while disappointing from a football perspective, one that from a business aspect, extremely difficult to turn down. Russell wanted to go and, as a club we cannot really deny him the chance to play against some of the best players in the world and the challenge that comes with that. I’m sure the move will also further his international career and everyone here at Pittodrie wishes him well.’

The move south will almost certainly catapult him from being a regular bench warmer for Scotland to one of the first picks and perhaps Willie commenting on this is a sly dig at his former defensive partner Alex McLeish for so far having overlooked Russell in the national matches but Premiership standard defenders are not common at the minute for Scotland so Russell can expect more caps coming his way.

Russell left a welcome gesture to Aberdeen, the club that nurtured him and developed him and awarded him a testimonial last season by donating his signing on fee, £100,000, back to the Dons youth development fund which he himself was a product of.

A great gesture by the most recent Dons player to be classed as a genuine fans favourite and possible legend and at least he left with his last game being the magnificent 2-0 victory over Rangers on the last day of the season, a fitting end to his 11 year Aberdeen career.

But it`s over now and his new footballing chapter begins with Sunderland and Roy Keane where success next season will be avoiding relegation but at least he`s gone to a club where he will figure heavily in the team and not wasted on the bench.

ussell is relishing the challenge ahead and in his comments to the Daily Record spoke of his time at Aberdeen.

nderson said, ‘It’s hugely exciting to join a club that’s really going places and I’m looking forward to the challenge which lies ahead.

It all happened so quickly. I was on holiday and got a call from my agent saying Sunderland were interested. Then it was just a case of seeing if the two clubs could agree a fee.

I have a lot of happy memories at Aberdeen. The supporters were really good to me in my time there. But the opportunity to go to Sunderland is a massive challenge for me and one I could not turn down.’

All the best to Russell and thanks for giving 100% in every match but having been at Aberdeen for so long and being a local boy, the chance that he`ll end up back with the Dons at some point is a very likely outcome.