Darel Russell Profile
We profile Darren Ferguson's seventh signing of the summer. Darel Francis Roy Russell was born in Stepney on 22 October 1980. He came through the Norwich Youth system and made his debut for Norwich on the last day of the 1997/98 season against Reading. Russell made another 13 league appearances in 1998/99 and made a place in central midfield his own in 1999/2000. Russell rejected a new contract offer from the Canaries in February 2002 and officially transfer listed at the end of May 2002. He then went on a weekly contract with the Canaries and returned to first team action in September 2002. However he suffered a broken toe in the 2-0 victory at Reading on 18 September 2002 and missed approximately 6-8weeks. Russell joined Stoke on 8 August 2003 for £125,000 and played regularly under managers Tony Pulis and Johan Boskamp, missing only a handful of matches during a season. He began his Stoke career playing at right back, before being moved to a right winger and then central midfield. His form for Stoke ironically benefited the Canaries as he scored the first goal in Stoke's 4-1 defeat of West Brom on 4 May 2004. This defeat for the Baggies gave the Division One title to the Canaries. Russell also won the Championship player of the month award for November 2006. On 30 July 2007, Russell rejoined the Canaries for an undisclosed fee (reported to be around the £410,000 marked down from £600,000 due to a 30% sell-on clause the canaries had in the deal taking Russell to Stoke in 2003), on a three-year contact. He made his second debut for the Canaries in the 0-0 draw at Preston on the opening day of the 2007/08 season. In the summer of 2009 Norwich rejected a bid of £500,000 from then Premier League side Burnley, Norwich's asking price was believed to be around £750,000. Although excluded from pre-season matches he stayed at Norwich and played a major part in earning them promotion to the Championship at the first time of asking after winning League One. Under manager Paul Lambert he occupied a more defensive central midfield position in a diamond formation. He made 39 appearances last season, scoring twice. On the 1 July 2010, it was confirmed that Russell had rejected the offer from Norwich of a new contract, and he was released. Russell had netted 10 goals from 112 appearances in his second spell at Carrow Road. He was linked with a move to Leeds and Bolton (who are managed by former Burnley boss Owen Coyle). In July 2010, Russell entered into talks with Preston and was in attendance as Preston beat Blackburn 3-0 at Deepdale in a pre-season friendly. He joined Preston on 4 August 2010 and will wear the number 20 shirt, which is the same number he had at Norwich.
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