The Brighton striker, 31, enjoyed a fine return to Old Trafford over the weekend as Brighton beat United.
For Ferdinand, Welbeck was back to his best and his performance against Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez reminded him of a Champions League display at Real Madrid a decade ago.
Given the striker was out of contract at Brighton before the summer, Ferdinand was surprised he wasn’t an option for United.
He told Vibe with Five: “Danny Welbeck would have started today for Man United.
“Welbeck came out of that tunnel and you could see, shoulders back, chest bulging, thinking, ‘I’m going to terrorize those two. That’s how he played.
“He looked like Danny Welbeck in prime time against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu 10 years ago.
“He was free in the summer because he didn’t have a contract. I would have taken him. On today’s performance, no doubt.