Everton signed James Rodriguez and Yerry Mina for footballing reasons – not to grow their in South America. 

That’s according to former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Everton’s growing popularity in Colombia.

Last week, The Athletic reported on the Toffees’ growing popularity in South America and quoted a TV presenter as saying “Everton matches are now an event in Colombia.”

The report claims Everton’s popularity in Colombia has exploded since Rodriguez arrived at Goodison Park but Phillips insists the club didn’t sign Rodriguez or Mina for this reason.

“I’m pretty sure they didn’t sign them with that in mind,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“Your first priority is signing players who will affect your team in the current season and they’ve certainly done that. 

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“They’ve been very good but it’s always an extra bonus if those signings make you a massive club in South America or around Europe or Australia or America.

“For the commercial side of it and the money that’s generated, the revenue, it’s good business and you’ve seen players over the years signing for clubs in China and Japan and you can almost say that was done purely for the commercial side. 

“These Everton deals, for me, haven’t been done for commercial reasons it’s just come along with it. 

“Credit to the players as well because they have to go there and perform and they’ve done that.”

Rodriguez is enjoying an impressive debut Premier League season with five goals and four assists to his name so far this campaign.

Mina has also been a key man at Goodison Park this season, starting 25 of the Blues’ league games in Carlo Ancelotti’s defence.

In other Everton news, the club have received a massive windfall.