Nwabili was a relatively unknown player weeks ago, but he will now be with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations
Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has revealed that he decided to include Stanley Nwabili in his 25-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations because he was impressed with his performance for Chippa United, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Super Eagles have had a goalkeeper issue for the last two years. Nigeria have lost important games due to mistakes from goalkeepers. Since José Peseiro took over as coach, he has alternated between Maduka Okoye, Francis Uzoho, and Adebayo Adeleye.
Peseiro has always defended his goalkeepers, but ahead of the AFCON, Chippa United goalkeeper Nwabili’s name came into the fray.
Peseiro was even pictured with the goalkeeper after a game at his South African club. Eventually, Nwabili was named in Nigeria’s provisional 40-man squad for the AFCON alongside Uzoho, Olorunleke Ojo, Adebayo Adeleye, Christian Nwoke, and Obasogie Amas.
The NFF revealed Nigeria’s squad for the African showpiece last week, and Nwabili was in the squad.
In an interview on NFF TV, Peseiro explained his decision. The Portuguese explained that he consulted Nwabili’s club coaches and watched the player live before adding the 27-year-old.
“There were not many videos of the South African league available for us. But some friends sent us videos of Nwabili’s matches in the South African league,” Peseiro said.
“I asked the NFF President to let me go there. So, I was there in South Africa for four days to speak with him, I spoke to the coach, and a lot of people. I watched the trainings, the practice, and I watched one match. In the final list we decided to add him in the list after the whole evaluation.
“We believe in him because because he showed good quality, good performance, and good capacities. Now I hope he displays the same quality he shows at his club.
If Nwabili impresses in training, he could wrestle starting shirt off Uzoho. The AFCON starts on January 13, but Nigeria begin their AFCON journey on January 14 with a game against Equatorial Guinea.