Depay scored twice in the Champions League qualifying play-off first leg win, but it was his delivery from the wing for the Red Devils' third goal which had Ferdinand drawing comparisons to former England captain Beckham.
"Memphis has shown now what he's capable of and he's shown that there's more to his game than just taking people on and shooting. He can deliver a great ball into the box too as with the last goal," Ferdinand told BT Sport post match.
"That cross was [David] Beckham-esque with the bend and whip. You haven't got to beat players but kids these days watch YouTube and just want to do that all the time. He just put that on a six-pence. Beautiful.
"I think the thing that excites you as well is that you can see he wants to be a star, he wants to be the main man, he wants the ball all the time, he wants to be the man at the end of moves who shoots and scores. This crowd love and warm to people like that - you've seen it over the years with the likes of [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Wayne] Rooney."