Manchester United were busy during the transfer window, bringing in four new first-team stars.

Tom Heaton was first through the door, returning to the club from Aston Villa at the beginning of July.

He was followed by Jadon Sancho a few weeks later in a £73million deal from Borussia Dortmund.

Then came Real Madrid centre-half Raphael Varane before Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return on Deadline Day.

Few expected the Portuguese to rejoin this summer, especially as he seemed destined to sign for Manchester City.

But in the space of 24 hours a deal was agreed for CR7 to return to the Theatre of Dreams after 12 years away.

Bringing Ronaldo back to Old Trafford was an opportunity which was too good to turn down – but it has consequences.

For Anthony Martial, the consequence is that he is a stop closer to a Manchester United exit.

The 25-year-old has made just 18 Premier League starts since the beginning of last season – a number that is not likely to increase following Ronaldo’s arrival.

Martial was linked with a Deadline Day move to either PSG or Lyon, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to keep him at Old Trafford.

Yet it is difficult to see how he forces his way back into the Norwegian’s team on a consistent basis.

He is behind not only Ronaldo, but also Mason Greenwood, Sancho and Rashford once he returns from an injury lay-off.

However, the Frenchman may have a saviour in the form of United co-chairman Joel Glazer.

The Mirror reported back in 2019 that Martial’s future was secure because he was viewed as the club’s “Pele” by Glazer.

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Glazer stopped United’s bid to sign Ivan Perisic under Jose Mourinho due to his unwavering belief in Martial and re-iterated that view to Solskjaer in 2019 when his future was again up for discussion.

When Ronaldo was available, however, he understandably sanctioned a move that not only reinforced United’s position in the transfer market but also helped to win favour with supporters.

It may also force him to accept that Martial has not delivered on his early promise, despite support from the Old Trafford hierarchy.