Bent hit a hat-trick against Bolton on Tuesday to end Sunderland's 14-match winless run and take his personal goal tally to 19 for the season, putting him on the verge of becoming the first Stadium of Light striker to notch 20 strikes in a season since Kevin Phillips in 1999-2000.
And Ferdinand believes such form makes Bent as good as any predator in the Premier League, including Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney, who has 30 goals already this term.
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Ferdinand also praised Bent's developing partnership with fellow forward Kenwyne Jones and insisted that if Bent continues his hot streak in front of goal then he is a must to board the plane for South Africa this summer.
'Darren is right up there with any other striker in the Premier League,' he said. 'His record in the Premier League shows that. It's incredible really.
'He's up there with the best, but it's not just about the goals, it's his all-round game. It's coming together, and he's coming together as a pair with Kenwyne, which is nice to see.
'It's like everyone who's English and has a chance of getting into that World Cup squad, all they have to do is keep playing well for their club. If they do that, you can't ignore people doing well.'
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