Chelsea fans were left stunned on Tuesday night when Petr Cech’s name was listed among the team’s 25-man Premier League squad.
Supporters initially assumed it was a mistake; after all, Cech retired in the summer of 2019 and has been working as the club’s technical director since then.
However, Chelsea confirmed it wasn’t an error and the 38-year-old is now part of the Blues’ Premier League squad for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign.
“Petr Cech has been included in the squad as emergency goalkeeper cover,” Chelsea confirmed on their website.
“‘This is a precautionary step due to the unprecedented conditions currently caused by the Covid-19 crisis. He takes up a position as a non-contract player.”
More details have now emerged via The Telegraph’s Matt Law.
It’s reported that Cech, who will continue to train on a regular basis this season, has 'amazed' Chelsea’s players and staff with his performances at the club’s Cobham training ground.
The former Czech Republic international, who played 494 games for Chelsea between 2004-2015 before moving to Arsenal, initially joined in with goalkeeper training in an attempt to help the under-performing Kepa Arrizabalaga and offer guidance to new signing Edouard Mendy.
But The Telegraph claim it was ‘immediately clear’ that Cech could still be playing at the highest level.
The 38-year-old’s fitness and agility convinced players and staff that he could still be playing, while Lampard publicly claimed his former teammate had retired too early.
Chelsea fans are hoping to see Cech pull on the goalkeeper’s shirt at least one more time this season.
But The Telegraph describe Cech’s chances of actually playing as “highly unlikely” because there are three first-team ‘keepers ahead of him.
As well as Mendy and Kepa, Lampard also has 39-year-old Willy Caballero at his disposal, as well as 19-year-old Academy goalkeeper Karlo Ziger.
- Cech included in Chelsea's 25-man squad
- What is the squad value of every Champions League club?
- How the PL table would currently look without VAR