Petr Cech was performing better in training than Chelsea's other goalkeepers before Edouard Mendy's arrival, according to ex-Blues keeper Mark Schwarzer.
Cech, who retired in 2019, was a shock inclusion in Chelsea's 25-man Premier League squad when it was announced last week.
The 38-year-old was the fourth goalkeeper in the squad, joining Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Willy Caballero.
Prior to Mendy's arrival from Rennes, though, Schwarzer said that Cech had been outperforming Kepa and Caballero in Blues training.
“From my understanding, he was better than the Chelsea keepers – but this was before Mendy arrived at the club," Schwarzer told Optus Sport. "He was performing and training better than the Chelsea keepers."
Cech retired at the end of the 2018-19 campaign after spending four seasons with Arsenal. Schwarzer, who speaks regularly with Cech, has said that his former team-mate feels so fit at present that he is questioning his decision to walk away from the game when he did.
“He just was saying that he felt so good. He said had he known that after having time off he would have felt so good, he would have only had six months off and wouldn’t have retired," Schwarzer said.
"He actually believes he’s fit enough and strong enough and good enough still to play in the Premier League.
"I know he’s kicking the ball further than he did towards the end of his career, because the injuries he had, the problems he had with his ankle, his calf, they were hindering his kicking game.
"So apparently he has no problems with that at all anymore. He’s kicking the ball as far as he [ever] did.”
After a series of high-profile errors, Kepa was replaced as Chelsea's starter by Mendy, who has performed well since breaking into the team.
Schwarzer was asked a hypothetical question that is surely on the minds of many Chelsea observers: If Mendy and Caballero were unavailable and head coach Frank Lampard had to choose between Kepa and Cech, who would he pick?
“I think he has to play Kepa, because if he doesn’t it will kill him," Schwarzer answered.