Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Danny Welbeck has a lot to learn from Robin van Persie, as the strikers prepare for a season where competition for a starting spot in the Manchester United striking department will be tougher than ever.

Welbeck had a successful season for the Red Devils over the course of their last campaign, pushing Javier Hernandez for his place on the squad alongside Wayne Rooney as Dimitar Berbatov was edged out.

And while van Persie looks to be a sure starter alongside Rooney for this season, Ferguson insists that Welbeck will benefit greatly from having the Dutchman on board at United.

"You always learn from great players. If you remember what Cantona did for all the young players. Without question he was a great teacher for them. Danny will welcome that," he told the Manchester Evening News.

"Danny is 22 in November but there is a progress there and the progress is purely physical.

"As we know he has had growth spurts for the last few years and has missed parts of the season because he gets little niggles because of it. He is still growing. He is going to be a big boy and he will learn but he won't play every week.

Robin van Persie
Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Robin van Persie has a lot to teach the younger strikers at Manchester United.

"He will still get little strains every now and then but when he has completed growing and is 23-24 he will be a fantastic player.

"He will learn from playing with Robin and Wayne Rooney and Chicharito. We have a great combination of strikers now and that has encouraged me.

"It will be difficult for me but it is better that the whole team enjoys success because we have added another great player rather than them worrying if they are going to play or not. They have to share in the way forward."

Ferguson has spoken a few times now about how he hopes to create a strikeforce at United that is reminiscent of the 1999 squad, and in Hernandez, Welbeck, Rooney and van Persie he is certainly on the way to achieving such a feat.

Fans will get their first taste of van Persie in action tonight as United take on Everton at Goodison Park, and how the two strikers interact alongside each other will no doubt be making headlines in tomorrow's papers however it plays out.