By London correspondent Tony Hughes

A West Ham defender dubbed ‘the new Rio Ferdinand’ has extended his loan deal with Colchester, the club announced on Tuesday.

Leo Chambers, a former England Under-19 international, will spend the rest of the season on loan at the League One club.

The centre-back, 20, initially joined Colchester on a month-loan emergency loan in February but the two clubs have agreed to extend the deal.

It is a boost for the progress made by the young defender, who spent nearly two years out of the game due to injury.

Chambers, who is hoping to earn a new West Ham contract now he is fully fit and playing regularly, has said he models himself on former England and Hammers star Ferdinand.

“The only centre-half I’ve modelled my game on is Rio Ferdinand – he’s come from 20 minutes down the road from me in south London,” said Chambers. “He’s come through West Ham’s academy and we have sort of similar playing styles.”

Chambers added: “If I could be half the player he was, I’ll be alright. I’ve watched his game closely and one of the things he does is bring the ball out and is comfortable.”