Lingard was linked with a permanent move to West Ham United before the start of this term, as he had excelled there on loan during the second half of last season.
The Englishman chose to fight for his place, barely featured for United this term, and was unsuccessful in securing a move away in January.
"I wouldn't be happy if I was a player. It's almost like he's wasted a whole year of his career, a whole season of his career has been wasted," said Ferdinand on his FIVE YouTube channel.
"He hasn't played hardly any games, hasn't been involved. He went to West Ham and done fantastically well, everyone would have wanted to take him outside of probably the top four – and then goes back to Man United and doesn't play. I was just baffled that he went back to Man United in the first place after having that taste of success, that taste of playing every week.
"Either he was promised by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he'd get more game time, or I don't know what it was. And then this window you'd think he'd be doing all he can to get out.
"Maybe he took too long in getting to that point of wanting to leave. Did he ask to leave at the beginning of the window or make a decision later on in the window that he wanted to leave and by then other situations took it out of his hands maybe? I don't know.
"But you look at his career and I just think the last year or two has just been wasted by just sticking around at Man United when he's never going to play games. It's just crazy."
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