Declan Rice is one of the best young centre-backs in the country, according to West Ham academy director Terry Westley.

The 18-year-old played a pivotal role in the Hammers' goalless Premier League 2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday to claim the man of the match award.

For Westley, Rice's display was evidence enough of the quality the emerging defender has at his disposal.

"His whole demeanour, the way he goes about the game, the way he drives the team and his all-round ability, which covers all of that - he was the stand out player for both sides," Westley said.

"If there is a better young centre-back in he country, I haven't seen him, at least not playing in Under-23 football."

The Hammers had the better of the game, but couldn't make their overall dominance pay in the stalemate.

Westley was still pleased with what he saw.

He said: "I think we edged the game and if you're coming to Chelsea and you're disappointed you didn't win, it shows the strides we have made."