De Ligt inspired Ajax into the semi-finals of the Champions League by scoring the crucial second goal in a 2-1 win away at Juventus on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old has become one of the poster boys of a young, vibrant and exciting team built around academy products., with Barcelona-bound midfielder Frenkie de Jong similarly lauded.
De Ligt has already been linked with a number of Europe’s top clubs, with the player himself admitting he would welcome a move to Liverpool.
Ferdinand believes the Dutchman is one of his successors as “the best young centre-half on the planet”.
“De Jong, already signed for Barcelona,” he told BT Sport. “De Ligt, the best young centre-half on the planet. Beautiful and majestic ball-playing ability. Scored a huge goal there as well.
“The blend they’ve got with the young players and the older more experienced players.
“Tadic was almost given away by Southampton and is now producing miracles in the Champions League this year.
“It’s exciting times for Ajax.”