Everton are currently 17th in the table and are fighting to avoid getting relegated from the Premier League for the second season in a row.

The Toffees have struggled ever since Carlo Ancelotti left them for Real Madrid in 2021.

They appointed Rafael Benítez as the Italian’s successor and the former’s arrival at Goodison Park also had an impact on James Rodríguez’s career at Everton. This has now been revealed by the player himself during an interview with Noticias RCN.

Rodríguez had previously played under Ancelotti at Real Madrid and this helped Everton to sign the Colombia international for free in 2020.

The 31-year-old managed six goals and nine assists from 29 games during the 2020/21 season.

Benítez wasn’t convinced of the attacking midfielder and left him out of his plans at the Premier League side, which convinced the South American to leave them for Qatari side Al-Rayyan in September 2021.

When asked about the Spaniard, Rodríguez said: “When he arrived at Everton on the first day, he told me, ‘Go away. You are 30 years old and I want young people, who have energy’. I had had a spectacular year with Everton, so I wasn’t going to start fighting with him”.

Rodríguez is currently without a club since leaving Olympiacos earlier this year.