Ferdinand likened Diallo to five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who was lured to United from Portuguese powerhouse Sporting CP as a baby-faced 18-year-old in 2003 before going on to take the world by storm.
Juventus superstar Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League among other honours at Old Trafford prior to his blockbuster move to Real Madrid, where he played between 2009 and 2018.
“We’ve just bought a kid in from Atalanta and hopefully he does something,” Ferdinand said on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE podcast after United reportedly spent £37million on Diallo.
“If you see his clips and speak to people at the club who are involved in buying him, potentially this kid could be a world-beater.
“That is the thought of Manchester United people that this kid is one they have unearthed.
“I don’t want to put the pressure of Ronaldo on him, but no-one knew about Ronaldo when we bought him other than the people in Portugal.
“This kid seems similar in that sense and if you see his clips and the way people talk about him, the world is his oyster if he applies himself right.”