Ferdinand sees enough in Smalling to suggest he has the ability and appetite to deal with the change in levels.
Ferdinand said: "It's been an unbelievable six months for him, in terms of coming to United, playing a few Champions League games, coming on up front on Saturday (at Aston Villa) and then getting into the England squad.
"It's great for him. He is a great lad and an enthusiastic young professional as well. I think he has got a future.
"The bonus that Chris has got is that he is at Manchester United. He has got a professional environment to be in every day of the week, not only from the club or the manager, but from the players as well.
"You are taught to be professional, so he is at the right place.
"The way I worked as a kid, I looked at people and took a few things out of their games which I thought would benefit my game.
"I see Chris is doing that as well. He has two people in myself and Nemanja Vidic who he can hopefully take bits and pieces from our games to help him."