James Rodriguez left Everton with a "clear mentality" in the summer, according to his former Colombia team-mate Jackson Martinez.

Rodriguez joined the Toffees from Real Madrid ahead of the 2020-21 season and enjoyed a roaring start to life in the Premier League under manager Carlo Ancelotti.

However, over the course of the campaign a number of injury issues prevented Rodriguez from playing frequently and as his appearances became intermittent his form suffered significantly.

While there was still excitement among the Everton fans about what Rodriguez would potentially do in front of a full Goodison Park this term, he eventually followed Ancelotti out of the door ahead of the current campaign.

It was evident that Ancelotti's successor, Rafael Benitez, was not willing to indulge the skills of the former Porto and Monaco playmaker in the way the Italian would, making an exit inevitable given Rodriguez's lavish salary.

Despite only being 30 years old, the Colombian moved to the Qatar Stars League to play for Al-Rayyan.

Speaking to Infobae (h/t Sport Witness ), Martinez said Rodriguez's move to a league of modest quality shouldn't hinder his chances of representing Colombia in the future and reflected on his Everton departure.

"He is a star," he said. "A player who will go down in history, although he is already there because he has achieved so much.

"The Colombian people have to be happy to see that we have the best goalscorer in a World Cup.

"After hearing about Qatar, I asked myself, and I think he has a clear mentality. He’s very competitive, and he knew, like everyone else, that he wasn’t going to play for Everton.

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"He’s gone to a place where there’s going to be a World Cup and where he’s going to keep playing. He’s going to have the opportunity to keep being called up to the national team."

The Colombian was recalled to the national team in November after missing out on the Copa America over the summer.

Everton would certainly benefit from an in-form Rodriguez at the moment, as they are struggling desperately in attack.

The team goes into Wednesday's Merseyside derby without a win in seven games and just one goal scored in their November matches.