Football

Petr Cech: Chelsea add retired goalkeeper to Premier League squad

Petr Cech retired after Arsenal's Europa League final defeat by Chelsea in 2019

Goalkeeper Petr Cech has been named in Chelsea’s Premier League squad – despite having retired from playing at the end of the 2018-19 season.

The 38-year-old, who is the club’s technical and performance adviser, was added as “emergency cover”.

Elsewhere, midfielder Mesut Ozil has been left out of Arsenal’s 25-man squad.

Manchester United have not included defender Phil Jones and goalkeeper Sergio Romero in their list.

Clubs had to name a 25-man squad after the closure of both the international and domestic transfer windows.

Cech spent 11 years as a player at Stamford Bridge, winning 13 trophies, including four Premier League titles and the Champions League.

He last played for the Blues in the 3-1 win over Sunderland in May 2015, before joining London rivals Arsenal.

The former Czech Republic international then returned to Chelsea in the summer of 2019 to take up his new role and has recently been helping with the goalkeeping coaching. 

“Petr Cech has been included in the squad as emergency goalkeeper cover. 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,” said a Chelsea club statement.

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil is Arsenal’s highest-paid player

Ozil, 32, who joined Arsenal for a then club record £42.4m in 2013, has not played for the Gunners since 7 March.

The German, who had also been left out of their Europa League squad, will now only be able to play for Arsenal Under-23s until his deal expires in summer 2021.

Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was also omitted.