Anthony Nwakaeme tops Nigeria Power Rankings from Asisat Oshoala, Daniel Akpeyi

He may have been cast aside by Gernot Rohr -- mostly due to the flaming form of a certain France-based young striker, and partly due to his age, which at 30, is well above the Super Eagles' coach's preferred range -- but Anthony Nwakaeme is enjoying a purple lease of life at Trabzonspor.

The forward broke into the ESPN Nigeria Power Rankings at No. 3, and he has carried his consistency into this month, thankfully, minus the red card that blighted his month in January.

Nwakaeme opened the period under review with a goal and assist in a 5-0 Turkish Cup rout of BB Erzurumspor.

He was on target again in the very next game, a 2-0 win at Genclerbirligi that took his club top of the table on goals difference ahead of Sivasspor, who then beat Trabzonspor 2-1 to take sole control at the summit.

Trabzon are currently in rude health, sitting second on the table behind Istanbul Basaksehir. and Nwakaeme's good form -- he has nine goals for the season, playing from the left side -- is a big factor in that positioning.

He rises two places from third last month to top of the table, and eminently deserves it.

Few players can lay claim to having the sort of phenomenal impact that Asisat Oshoala has had since joining FC Barcelona Femini. The forward has scored 20 goals this season, and she has shot all the way up to second in her debut as the first woman player on the Nigeria Player Power Rankings.

She scored four goals in January to debut in the rankings, and she continued that form into February with a hat-trick and helping Barcelona claim the Super Cup not to mention keeping their place as runway league leaders.

It was a straight fight between her and Nwakaeme for top spot, but the Trabzonspor man edged it; at this rate, Oshoala could well end up atop the rankings sooner rather than later.

Much-maligned Super Eagles goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi jumps into the top three, and it is not hard to see why. He has been accused of inconsistency -- and even he will admit it is not entirely unjustified criticism - but, boy, the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper is good when he does come good.

Akpeyi saved his best performance of the month, if not the season, for the biggest game of them all in South Africa -- the Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates. Fans bayed all week ahead of the game for the goalie to be dropped, in favour of South Africa No. 1 Itumeleng Khune, but the Chiefs coach stuck with Akpeyi, and what a game the Nigerian had.

Akpeyi made six saves, including three in succession during one frenetic spell, in a performance that saw him walk away with the match ball as man of the match honors, and with his name on the lips of almost every South African.

Not bad for a man who was thought to be finished.

Not far behind him is Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo, who had dropped out of the rankings for a few cycles.

But he came storming back in February; if there is one moment that reflects all the good work that Aribo did all month long, it is his spectacular solo goal against Sporting Braga in the UEFA Europa League to haul Rangers back into the game at 2-2 after they had gone 0-2 down at home. The Gers ended up winning 3-2, but Aribo had Steven Gerard running like a lunatic after that goal.

To put it into further perspective, the Nigeria midfielder had come on to fill in at left-back after Borna Barisic had gone off with injury.

He had two more goals during the month but that stellar effort stands out, along with a string of excellent showings.

Former Dolphins forward Emem Eduok makes his first appearance on the rankings after scoring in four straight games for Hadjuk Split as they try to fight off the challenge of Rijeka in the battle for second place behind runaway Croatian league leaders Dinamo Zaghreb.

What makes his run more remarkable, is that he only played one full 90-minute game in that period.

Victor Osimhen dominated the rankings for much of 2019, only for injury to conspire to slow him down in 2020. Still, he is gradually fighting his way back to his best form.

He opened the month with a late winner for Lille in a 2-1 road win at Strasbourg, and finished the month with three goals and one assist. But such is the quality of play from his compatriots that his form can only earn him sixth place, static from where he was in January.

Cyriel Dessers broke into the rankings during the month he announced his decision to play for Nigeria, only to fall away. What better time, then, to return than with international break looming?

He hit a brace against Fortuna Sittard, and followed up with a stunner against Ajax Amsterdam. His second against Sittard and the goal against Ajax both illustrated his instinct, technique and finish. He now leads the Dutch league top scorers' chart with 15 goals -- more than any other Nigerian forward - and Osimhen may need to watch his back when camp opens later this month.

Three defenders follow back-to-back to close out the Top 10.

Semi Ajayi continues to be a phenomenal presence for West Bromwich Albion as they continue their charge to claim the Championship title and automatic promotion to the English Premier League, but to claim. The goal he scored on the first day of the month helped, too.

Right behind him is Kenneth Omeruo, whose Leganes team may be struggling at the wrong end of the La Liga table, but who still manages to post up outstanding performances.

Rounding out the list is Leon Balogun. Since moving on loan to Wigan, the nearly forgotten man of Brighton & Hove Albion has found himself a man resuscitated.