Mark Schwarzer says that veteran Petr Cech was the best goalkeeper in training at Chelsea this season.
The Australian, who still has contacts at the west London club after his two-year spell at Stamford Bridge, says he was informed Cech was outperforming Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero.
Schwarzer, 48, says he was told of Cech’s performances before the arrival of Edouard Mendy.
Frank Lampard has been unhappy with his goalkeeper options since taking over in the summer of 2019.
He signed £20m goalkeeper Mendy this summer to provide extra competition for Arrizabalaga and Caballero and has since confirmed Mendy is his no.1.
Schwarzer has heard that Cech, who was named in the west Londoners’ 25-man Premier League squad last week, was starring in training.
The former Bradford goalkeeper told Optus Sports: “From my understanding, he was better than the Chelsea keepers. But this was before Mendy arrived at the club.
“He was performing and training better than the Chelsea keepers. He just was saying he felt so good.”
Cech won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and both the Champions League and the Europa League competitions during his 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge.
He left for Arsenal in 2015 after Thibaut Courtois assumed the no.1 role. Cech spent four years with Arsenal before retiring in 2019.
He then returned to Chelsea as a technical director at the start of the 2019-20 season when Lampard took over.
Cech kicking the ball further than ever
Schwarzer says it was no surprise to see Cech given a Premier League squad number because the Czech star still feels he can do a job at the top level.
Schwarzer added: “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.
“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.
“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 any more. He’s kicking the ball as far as he [ever] did.”