Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman believes Petr Cech has more to offer despite announcing his intention to hang up his gloves at the end of the season.
The ex-Czech Republic international announced on Tuesday that his 20-year professional career will come to an end in the summer.
Cech has seen himself overlooked for large parts of the 2018-19 season by Unai Emery and has not played in any of the Gunners' last 15 Premier League games.
Though out of contract at the Emirates at the end of the campaign, Seaman feels Cech still has a contribution to make to the sport despite turning 37 in May.
"Honestly, I was surprised, he's only 36," Seaman, the Arsenal goalkeeper 'between 1990 and 2003, told Sky Sports.
"I thought it was a little early but when you are a goalkeeper, you know when it is time to retire.
"Petr has had his own chat with people and he has his own thoughts as well.
"For him it is the right time but I just thought it was a little bit early.
"I was ready. I was 40 and had been 22 years a pro, and really enjoyed myself.
"Petr's 36 and I can't help thinking he might feel 'I could have gone on for another couple of years'."
As a winner of 18 major honours, many of which came during 11 years at Chelsea, Cech leaves the game as one of the Premier League's best ever custodians.
He won the Golden Glove - the prize awarded for the most clean sheets in a single season - on four occasions and was twice named in the PFA Team of the Year.
Cech's career was momentarily at risk when he suffered a depressed skull fracture against Reading in 2006 - but he made a full recovery and returned to the sport wearing a rugby-style headguard.
Seaman added: "He was one of the best, no doubt.
"The standard he set when he came in was brilliant and that has been proven by all the trophies he has won.
"He won a hell of a lot of trophies with Chelsea, came to Arsenal and still kept that standard of great goalkeeping.
"I've been impressed all through his career, even to this season. He was playing really well until he got his injury (Cech suffered a hamstring injury against Watford at the end of September).
"It was a shame he got injured and as to how many games he will play between now and the end of the season we don't know but it will probably be just a couple of cups.
"He has been a fantastic goalkeeper for the Premier League."