Welbeck appears to be fourth-choice in the striker's pecking order this season, despite his heroics with England.
Despite scoring goals, Ritchie was squeezed out by the big-money signing of Garry Birtles and left his beloved Reds for Brighton a month before his 20th birthday.
He recalled to the Manchester Evening News: "I was hoping to get a new contract at the time and if I had got that then I would have known I was wanted.
"That was the biggest thing for me - I wanted that deal. But it was pretty obvious that Dave Sexton didn't think I was the future. If I had been then an agreement would have been on the table. But there was nothing on the horizon.
"It is a totally different kettle of fish for Danny because he was given a new four-year contract in August. They don't give contracts out lightly at Manchester United and won't offer you one that long if they don't think you are good enough, so Danny has the knowledge from that that he's wanted. He'll know he is highly thought of.
"I am sure he is getting all the necessary reassurances from the manager and his staff about his future. Danny just has to be patient.
"He's 22 now but has plenty of time. I doubt if he'll be thinking that time is running away with him."