Ferdinand has been impressed by Cleverley's pre-season form, not least in last Sunday's comeback win over Manchester City at Wembley.
"Not many people knew about Tom Cleverley before he came on in that game," he told manutd.com. "He was magnificent when he came on. Danny Welbeck was too, and both of them got called into the England squad [for the postponed friendly with Holland].
"There are others too. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Fabio, Rafael, David de Gea, Ben Amos, Anders Lindegaard... I could go on and on about the younger players. Mixed in with the experience we have, it all bodes well for the future.
"Everybody knew he had the talent but he was physically very slight. Since then he has grown, he has worked hard and he has matured. He's done his apprenticeship by going out on loan and he's come back as a fantastic young player. He has some great traits. He sees the game clearly and plays the ball forward in a nice way.
"All the things people were worrying about, with his height and his size, have been knocked on the head now. He is showing people his true worth. He did it on loan at Wigan last year and I heard Roberto Martinez speak many times about how good he is. Our manager also speaks highly of Tom and I am sure he will have a fantastic career."