Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick says he does not expect the arrival of Robin van Persie at Old Trafford to affect the progression of Danny Welbeck.

Van Persie signed for Manchester United from Arsenal in August, and has scored seven goals in nine appearances since his £24 million move away from the Emirates Stadium.

The 29-year-old is now considered first-choice alongside Wayne Rooney by Sir Alex Ferguson, meaning Welbeck finds himself on the bench after in impressive breakthrough season in the United senior side last term.

Welbeck, however, continues to perform to distinction when with provided with an opportunity in the Manchester United side, and Carrick believes the signing of Van Persie has spurred on the 21-year-old striker.

The youngster scored twice for England in the 5-0 win over San Marino at Wembley on Friday, which Carrick says showed that Welbeck still has an important role to play at Manchester United.

"I am a massive fan of Danny’s. I am probably a bit biased because of the United connection. But ever since I first saw him I have expected big things of him," Carrick told The Mirror.

"He has had a terrific couple of years. People were looking at him when we signed Van Persie saying: 'Where is his position, where is he going to fit in?' But he showed he is still a major part of it and he was terrific against San Marino."

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