The 20-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable debut season after arriving from Blackburn Rovers in the summer, even claiming one of the England berths Ferdinand used to think of as his.
"Phil has done fantastically well to come into this squad, play the amount of games he has and have that kind of impact," Ferdinand said.
"When you join a club like United at such a young age it can work both ways.
"It can swallow you up because you can't deal with the pressure and expectations of the fans or you can swim and just keep going forward, putting in good performances and looking like you have been here for years.
"He has done the latter. I am sure he has exceeded people's expectations, the manager included."