Terry Westley hails West Ham United's Marcus Browne

Marcus Browne of West Ham and Max Clarke of Hull City challenge for the ball  during the Second Leg of the Premier League U21 Cup Final at the KC Stadium on May 04, 2016 in Hull, England.

West Ham United's Marcus Browne impressed for the Under-23s on Monday.

Marcus Browne of West Ham and Max Clarke of Hull City challenge for the ball  during the Second Leg of the Premier League U21 Cup Final at the KC Stadium on May 04, 2016 in Hull, England.

Terry Westley has told West Ham United's official website that Marcus Browne was his stand-out player in Monday's Under-23 defeat by Sunderland.

The West Ham youngsters went down 1-0 to the Black Cats last night in a close game which was settled by Lee Connelly after 14 minutes.

But Westley, the Irons' academy director, saw some positives in spite of the defeat and claims that 20-year-old Browne - who captained the side - was "head and shoulders above" everyone else.

Marcus Browne of West Ham is closed down by Ray Grant of Norwich City during the Premier League 2 match between West Ham United and Norwich City at Chigwell Construction Stadium on January...

He said to United's official website: "I thought Marcus Browne was head and shoulders better than anyone else on the pitch. He was driving on the ball and the way he led as a captain."

It's an exciting quote from Westley, who has seen his fair share of talent come through the ranks and there is room for a lot of youngsters to make a name for themselves in the youth side over the next five months.

West Ham let Toni Martinez, Reece Burke and Martin Samuelsen leave on loan in January, with Martinez and Samuelsen regularly impressing at that level in the first half of the season so they'll need two new stars.

Toni Martinez of West Ham United closes down louis Ramsey of Norwich City during the Premier League 2 match between West Ham United and Norwich City at Chigwell Construction Stadium on...

Whether they can step up to the first team in the long term is unclear, especially given how poor Martinez - arguably the most exciting prospect in the youth set-up - was in the FA Cup defeat at Wigan last month.

But Browne is another highly-rated talent and time will tell whether he has a Premier League future ahead of him.

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