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DONS STAR US-BOUND

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RONALD HERNANDEZ has quit Aberdeen for a loan spell with MLS outfit Atlanta United.

The Venezuela international defender, who cost £800,000 when he arrived from Norwegian side Stabaek in January last year, has been a bit-part player in Derek McInnes’ Pittodrie plans.

The 23-year-old full-back has only made three starts and three substitute appearances and was given compassionate leave in December to allow him to see his family.

Major League Soccer has now sanctioned a loan agreement for the player to join Dons’ partner club Atlanta for the American season.

Boss McInnes, speaking on the club’s website, said: “Sadly, the events of 2020 and the impact of the global pandemic have undoubtedly had an impact on Ronald’s time at Pittodrie.

“When he arrived, he had just completed pre-season in Norway, and we were midway through the 2019/20 season, but we worked hard with him to try to develop his fitness and adapt to the Scottish game.

“However, the curtailment of the season meant his ability to make any impact on the team was limited.

“From a personal point of view, Ronald has been a great player to work with, but we must acknowledge he made several personal sacrifices while in Scotland, not least having to spend lockdown in Aberdeen on his own.

“Because of visa restrictions due to the pandemic, he had not seen his wife or young daughter in almost a year until he was given compassionate leave in December, and the lasting impact of that should not be underestimated.”

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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