Welbeck managed to establish himself as a first-team regular at Old Trafford last season, scoring 12 goals in 40 appearances for the Red Devils.
It led to a call-up to England’s squad for Euro 2012, with the 21-year-old netting a speculative backheel in a 3-2 victory over Sweden in the group stage.
However, Van Persie’s arrival has left doubts over Welbeck’s immediate future at United, with Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernández and Wayne Rooney also competing for a spot in Ferguson’s side.
But the Red Devils manager is confident Van Persie can help Welbeck develop into the finished article.
“You can always learn from great players,” Ferguson told United’s website. “Remember what Cantona did for all the young players when he arrived? He was a tremendous teacher for them.
“Danny will learn from playing with Robin, [Wayne] Rooney and Chicharito. I think we have a great combination of strikers now and that’s encouraged me.”
Ferguson backed Welbeck, capped eight times by England, to continue his recent development and become an important player for the Red Devils.
“At 21 he’s a young boy,” he added.
“He’s still growing and has niggles, but he’s going to be a big boy. He won’t play every week but when he’s 23 or 24 he’ll be a fantastic player.”
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