HANDING Declan Rice a new contract has to be a priority at West Ham United now.

Rice put in another man of the match performance as the Hammers picked up a 1-1 draw at Leicester City.

The 19-year-old is regularly dictating play and it was no different at the King Power Stadium.

Rice has not been offered a contract which he is willing to accept yet and although I would like to see the owners giving Manuel Pellegrini a sizeable amount of money to improve the squad further in January, keeping Rice should be the priority.

I think every single Premier League team must be looking at Rice at the moment and should David Sullivan and David Gold not give Rice a good new contract, one of the top six will come in for him.

If a team like Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea - his former club - comes in for him and offers a bumper contract, West Ham will not be able to compete.

The owners need to give Rice a new five-and-a-half year deal as soon as possible and tie him down to the club for the foreseeable future.

Rice was my man of the match against Leicester and it was a little disappointing to concede a late equaliser after playing for so long with 10 men.

Fabian Balbuena put West Ham ahead and it was good to see him score because I think him and Issa Diop are turning into one of the best partnerships at centre-back in the Premier League.

If they can score goals as well, it will make it even better.

Mark Noble was sent off and there’s no doubt it was a red card.

It was not a malicious challenge, but he went over the ball and the referee, Michael Oliver, was well placed.

Being without Noble for three matches because of his suspension will be a blow and the late deflected goal from Wilfred Ndidi was the sucker punch.

The helicopter accident after the match was devastating and my thoughts are with everyone involved.