The 20-year-old helped guide Crystal Palace to the Premier League last season and was signed by United in January before being loaned back to Ian Holloway's side for the remainder of the campaign.
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"Wilfried is a fantastic talent. That is why you pay £15 million for a kid," Ferdinand told reporters.
"He is raw, with great individual skills and the early indications are that he is a hard worker.
"He wants to be a top footballer and he wants to improve. With those attributes, that desire and the influences he will have at this club, hopefully we will have a top player on our hands."
Ferdinand also believes Zaha's direct style of play is a positive attribute to possess.
"Wilfried can take people on from a standing start," said Ferdinand.
"He is quick and direct but what has surprised me more is that he gets his shots off.
"I have not watched him loads but obviously he is a winger who has a hunger to get inside and drive into the opponents' box. That is a good thing to have."