With competition for the midfield positions fierce, Ferguson admits it is unlikely the £16million summer signing will be be handed a central attacking spot at the moment.
"Ashley can play in different positions but I'm not saying it's going to happen at the moment," said Ferguson. "He's filling the left-hand side very well but there's options to play him right or off the front.
"The option to play him centrally is not looking great for him, though, with Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Dimitar Berbatov plus even Ryan Giggs can play there. So we're looking more at the wide positions for him.
"But it can help a player in terms of the consistency of playing. John O'Shea, for instance, wasn't in a starting position all the time but, because of his versatility, he made nearly 400 appearances for us in his career here."