Chelsea defender Thiago Silva says he did not expect to hear that Petr Cech was making himself available for Premier League action.
Blues boss Frank Lampard has drafted his former teammate into his 25-man top-flight squad this season.
Lampard made the decision to ease the potential crisis if Covid-19 means his current wealth of stoppers is diminished. Indeed Cech, 38, makes the move back to the training field from the Chelsea boardroom.
Despite admitting surprise at the move, Silva insists that after chatting with Cech, the goalkeeper is ready for action should Lampard need him to play.
“He’s a guy that we don’t have to discard. His story is very beautiful in football,” Silva told Esporte Interativo (via Sport Witness). “We talk a little, he speaks a little French, so we have a little more dialogue than usual.
“And the other day I saw him training and asked him why he was training, if it was because he liked it or if he had the chance to be with us.
“He said he was really training so if he was needed, any opportunity, he could play.”
Silva hails Cech’s Chelsea influence
Silva also feels that Cech will be able to play a crucial mentoring role for the rest of the squad, given his vast experience.
“I thought he was done with his career, I was even surprised at that moment he told me,” the defender added. “But he’s a guy who has a brilliant career at Chelsea, he’s an idol.
“And seeing his motivation to help us when possible, we are happy that he’s there. In our daily lives he’s a very important guy, he talks a lot with each player.
“His story speaks for itself, we just have him as a reference and do our job.”
Silva added: “I think he’s ready, man. From the training I saw, he’s well prepared. If he has an opportunity, an incident with the goalkeepers, he’s prepared and I’m sure Frank also trusts him.”
Cech is unlikely to make a sensational return for the Blues, who have welcomed Edouard Mendy back from injury.
The summer signing recovered from injury suffered during the international break to start in Tuesday’s Champions League draw with Sevilla.
Behind him, Lampard has under-fire Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero to call on before Cech.