Petr Cech ChelseaGetty Images

Cech makes shock Chelsea comeback after inclusion in Premier League 25-man squad as 'emergency cover'

Chelsea have included Petr Cech in their 25-man Premier League squad as "emergency goalkeeper cover", despite his previous retirement from football in 2019.

The 38-year-old joined Chelsea's coaching staff last year as a technical and performance advisor following his retirement, and has been training with the Blues in recent months.

Cech is the fourth goalkeeper named on Chelsea's roster, joining Kepa Arrizabalaga, Edouard Mendy and Willy Caballero.

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The club has attempted to play down Cech's inclusion, saying the move was "precautionary" and related to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Petr Cech has been included in the squad as emergency goalkeeper cover," a statement on Chelsea's website read. "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."

The former Czech Republic goalkeeper has been seen training with Chelsea in recent weeks, with head coach Frank Lampard saying earlier this month that the veteran shot-stopper was aiming to pass on his experience to the club's other goalkeepers.

"With the restart, and now playing at a fragile time, having Petr train with the goalkeepers and bring that experience is a great thing. He’s training and keeping fit, which is healthy for him and the goalkeepers," Lampard said.

"It’s something which is really positive for the goalkeepers as a whole, and Petr enjoys doing it, so why not give back and give that experience to the goalkeepers.

"We are a tight-knit family here at Chelsea. It’s important we promote that a lot. We are trying to make sure the group is together. Why would you not tap into having the best goalkeeper in the world, which he was for a long time, to pass on that knowledge?"

Cech retired from football after the 2018-19 season, having played at Arsenal since 2015 after previously spending 11 seasons with Chelsea. 

During his time at Stamford Bridge, the Czech star established himself as one of the world's top goalkeepers, winning the Premier League and the FA Cup four times apiece with Chelsea, as well as the Champions League in 2012.

Following his retirement Cech joined Chelsea's coaching staff and also tried his hand at ice hockey, signing with Guildford Phoenix last year.