Cech, 38, is currently Chelsea’s technical and performance advisor but takes role as non-contract player; Cech formally retired from playing in May 2019 following Arsenal’s Europa League final defeat to Chelsea
Wednesday 21 October 2020 06:09, UK
Petr Cech has been named in Chelsea's Premier League squad as a non-contract player
Chelsea have named retired goalkeeper Petr Cech in their 25-man Premier League squad as emergency cover.
The surprise inclusion of the 38-year-old, who works as the club’s technical and performance advisor, has been described by Chelsea as “a precautionary step due to the unprecedented conditions currently caused by the Covid-19 crisis”.
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Cech formally retired from playing in May 2019 following Arsenal’s Europa League final defeat to Chelsea.
He became a Blues legend after making over 300 appearances at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2015, winning 13 major trophies, including four Premier League titles and four FA Cups, before joining Arsenal.
Cech retired in May 2019 after Arsenal's Europa League final defeat to Chelsea
The former Czech Republic international played a starring role as the club won the Champions League in 2012, saving a penalty in extra-time against Bayern Munich before stopping two more in the shootout.
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He returned to the club shortly after his retirement from playing, taking up his current role which involves providing advice on all football and performance matters, as well as developing stronger links between the academy and first team.
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Fellow goalkeepers Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga and 39-year-old Willy Caballero are also named in the 25-man squad.
Each club has had to register 25 first-team players over the age of 21, of whom a minimum of eight should be homegrown.
A homegrown player is defined by the Premier League as someone of any nationality who was 21 or older on 1 January 2021 and spent three years between the ages of 16 and 21 attached to an English league team.
Chelsea’s Premier League squad
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Andreas Christensen (homegrown), Jorginho, Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, Tammy Abraham (homegrown), Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Willy Caballero, Fikayo Tomori (homegrown), Kurt Zouma, Edouard Mendy, Mateo Kovacic, Olivier Giroud, Mason Mount (U21), Callum Hudson-Odoi (U21)), Ben Chilwell (homegrown), Hakim Ziyech, Billy Gilmour (U21), Reece James (U21), Cesar Azpilicueta, Kai Havertz (U21), Emerson Palmieri, Petr Cech
Why can’t Lampard fix Chelsea’s defence?
Cech might only included as “emergency cover”, but Chelsea’s defence could use some of his goal-stopping ability from years gone by.
Only four current Premier League teams have conceded more than Chelsea since Frank Lampard arrived. Sky Sports’ Gerard Brand looks at Chelsea’s issues at the back…