Cech added to Chelsea squad – despite retiring in 2019

Petr Cech
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 post-transfer window squad.

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

English centre-back Jones, 28, last played for United in an FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers in January, while 33-year-old Argentine Romero – who was linked with a move to Everton on transfer deadline day – has moved down the pecking order following the return of England international Dean Henderson from Sheffield United.

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. external-link

“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.

Cech is one of four goalkeepers in the squad. Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga, the world’s most expensive keeper, has endured indifferent form since the restart of the previous season, while new signing Edouard Mendy made his return from injury against Sevilla on Tuesday.

Willy Caballero, 39, has twice played for the Blues this season and is usually selected in the domestic cup competitions.

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.

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