The Dutchman has returned to form this season after missing most of the previous campaign with a serious knee injury.
Owen responded: 'Well I'd go further. I think he's the best centre-half of all time.'
Asked to explain van Dijk was better than Ferdinand and numerous other candidates for the all time mantle, Owen said: "He probably scored a few more goals, not much, but we're talking about the greatest here.
"As I've said, Rio was the best centre-half I ever played with. But with Van Dijk, as a centre-forward I look at him and think: what do you do against him?
"He's bigger than everyone, he's faster than everyone, he's stronger than everyone, he's brilliant on the ball, he scores goals. I've never seen anything like it.
"The only thing that goes against Van Dijk at the moment – and I stress, at the moment – is his winners' medals. He's only won one Premier League and one Champions League.
"People like Rio and [Paolo] Maldini and [Franco] Baresi and people like that who you might consider the greatest, they've all got numerous. So that's the only thing that goes against him.
"But as a one off, I look at him and think: how can you get any better than that?"