‘I can’t grow with Chippa’ – Nwabali in come-and-get-me plea to English club

Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali has suggested he might leave Chippa United during the summer transfer window, as interest from other clubs grows.

The 27-year-old had a standout 2023/24 season in the South African Premier Division, achieving 12 clean sheets and conceding 27 goals in 29 matches for the Gqebera-based team while taking his national appearance total to 11.

Nwabali’s prominence soared in January when he played a key role in Nigeria's journey to the final of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, recording four clean sheets in seven games and making two crucial penalty saves in the quarterfinals against South Africa.

 Lagos-born Nwabali has been with South African side Chippa United since 2022 having spent his entire career prior in his native Nigeria.

After Chippa United’s 1-0 loss to Sekhukhune United at Buffalo City Stadium, Nwabali expressed his desire for new challenges.

Nwabali seeks growth and new opportunities beyond Chippa United

Reflecting on his future and current form, Nwabali expressed his desire for new challenges and growth in his career. Despite his satisfaction with his performance at Chippa United, he hinted at the possibility of moving to a bigger club.

“Well, everyone would love to leave because when you are in some position, you need to grow,” Nwabali said. “Like everyone in my position, I would like to grow more. I’m talking about clubs higher than this [bigger than Chippa United] because I have been giving my all to my club this season. I just wish to have another challenge at some other place,” the Nigerian international said as per Far Post.

Nwabali also looked back on his season with Chippa United positively, calling it one of the best in his career.

“To be honest, this season has been one of the best seasons of my football career inside Chippa and outside Chippa,” he added.

Stanley Nwabali in come-and-get-me plea to English club: 'I can't grow with Chippa'
Photo by Icon Sport

“This season, Chippa United has been nice to me and being part of this family. We found ourselves ending the season better than the previous season. This season was one of the best seasons for me.”

Is a Queens Park Rangers move beckoning for Nwabali?

In March, Fabrizio Romano hinted that several clubs, including English outfit Queens Park Rangers (QPR), were interested in signing the Super Eagles number one.

Nwabali’s words look to have left no doubt over his transfer stance, which is sure to be of encouragement to those keen. QPR aren’t the only admirers though, with Romano’s report stating he also has Saudi Arabian interest.

QPR are likely to be in the market for a new starting goalkeeper. The potential departure of Asmir Begovic, whose contract is set to expire, leaves the West London outfit in need of reinforcements between the posts.

Jordan Archer's exit further exacerbates the situation, leaving only Joe Walsh on the books for next season. Consequently, QPR might find themselves needing to bring in not one, but two new goalkeepers to fortify their squad.

Stanley Nwabali in come-and-get-me plea to English club: 'I can't grow with Chippa'
Photo by Icon Sport

As things stand, Nwabali is certainly keen on a move from his current club. Whether a switch to QPR materialises remains to be seen, but with the Rs in urgent need of goalkeeping reinforcements, the prospect of Nwabali donning the QPR jersey is an intriguing one.

Time will tell if this potential transfer comes to fruition, as fans and pundits eagerly watch the developments unfold.

Nwabali at risk of losing his Super Eagles position?

In Finidi George's recent Super Eagles call-up for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, he named Udinese goalkeeper Maduka Okoye among the squad's goalkeepers.

Okoye's return to the Super Eagles poses a significant threat to Nwabali's position, who, until the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), was virtually unknown to many football enthusiasts.

Nwabali seized his opportunity when former coach Jose Peseiro gave him the chance to prove himself. He impressed with his performances, eventually ousting Francis Uzoho to become Nigeria's number one goalkeeper.

Nwabali's rise was meteoric, with his contributions vital in helping Nigeria reach the AFCON 2024 final, where he kept four clean sheets in seven matches.

However, Okoye's outstanding season in Serie A cannot be overlooked. The Udinese shot-stopper played a crucial role in ensuring his team's survival in the Italian top flight, making numerous key saves throughout the campaign. Okoye's form and experience at the highest level make him a formidable competitor for Nwabali.

Stanley Nwabali in come-and-get-me plea to English club: 'I can't grow with Chippa'

As George evaluates his goalkeeping options, Nwabali's position is under scrutiny. While his performances have been commendable, the competition from Okoye, who has consistently proven himself in one of Europe's top leagues, adds a layer of uncertainty.

The coming days will be critical for Nwabali. He must continue to perform at a high level and seize any opportunities to demonstrate his capabilities.

With Okoye back in the mix, Nwabali's place as Nigeria's first-choice goalkeeper is far from secure. The Super Eagles' goalkeeping situation promises to be an intriguing battle, with both players vying to establish themselves as the team's undisputed number one.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu, a Ghanaian sports journalist, brings a dynamic perspective to the field with over a decade of experience. Having contributed to esteemed platforms such as Kickgh.com and Inkandkicks.com. Godfred is recognised for his insightful commentary and in-depth analysis of African football.
His passion for storytelling and commitment to accuracy have established him as a trusted authority in sports journalism in Ghana, captivating audiences with his engaging narratives and unparalleled expertise.
Godfred holds a degree in Integrated Development Studies (Social and Development Administration option) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.