James has scored three goals in his first four appearances for United, and has impressed with his pace and his direct play.
“I don’t think they [United] expected what they have got from Daniel James so early on in his Manchester United career,” Ferdinand told talkSPORT.
“He’s probably been their most influential player so far, so what does that really say about that squad?
“You’re buying someone from Swansea who was probably brought in as someone who is going to flourish at a later date.
“However, he’s been forced to the forefront as their main man in the team at the moment. That really says where Manchester United are at this minute in time.”