Nigeria Power Rankings: Paul Onuachu stays top amid defensive standouts

Is Ndidi's form key to Leicester's top four charge? (1:38)

Ed Dove believes Leicester City won't stutter at the final hurdle if Wilfed Ndidi remains fit. (1:38)

While offensive players usually dominate these Nigeria rankings, defensive players, led by Leicester's Wilfred Ndidi, posted barnstorming displays in Feburary and rightfully dominate our latest list.

Incidentally, our top two held on to their positions from January, which is saying a lot for them, and NPFL top scorer Sadeeq Yusuf climbs into the top three with a record-setting performance.

It is a testament to how tough this month's judging is that the likes of Odion Ighalo, Josh Maja, Ademola Lookman, and Terem Moffi all miss out entirely.

1. Paul Onuachu, Genk/BEL

After a January in which he rattled off seven goals in seven matches, the Genk striker added three more in five games in February.

That took his tally for the season to a frightening 24 goals from 28 league games, five more than second placed Thomas Henry, who has played one game more.

Tack on another lone strike in his only Cup game so far, and he has 25 from 29. That lone strike was as vital as it was impressive, coming as it did with just about three minutes to the end of the Cup tie against Sint-Truiden.

That race to 30 goals in the season just went down by three. There is very little else to add about Onuachu but that he is a goalscoring machine.

2. Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester/ENG

What better place for a player to prove their chops than in one of the biggest games of the season.

Against champions Liverpool, Ndidi proved himself to be an absolute midfield beast, but don't take our word for it, listen to his manager Brendan Rodgers, who said, "He was colossal".

Ndidi won five tackles in that game. Liverpool's quartet of Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones and James won a grand total of four amongst them.

He also made 19 recoveries, three blocks and one assist.

Leicester may be going through a slight tailspin at the moment, but Ndidi has remained a shining light in their midfield.

3. Sadeeq Yusuf, Sunshine Stars/NGA

Last month, Sadiq squeezed himself into the rankings on the back of a red hot January when he tallied five goals in four appearances.

There was no cooling down for the forward in February, as he went three for three.

The goals mean Sadeeq has now scored in six consecutive games for Sunshine, a record for the club.

4. Ola Aina, Fulham/ENG

The first defender in our week of outstanding defensive performances comes from Ola Aina.

It has been a rather quiet season for the former Chelsea man as Fulham battle to get away from those murky relegation waters and keep their top flight status. Quiet, at least until February.

Aina revved things up spectacularly in the space of week. First, he helped compatriot Josh Maja claim his first Premier League goal with an assist in a huge win over high flyers Everton.

And then, as if that was not enough, decided to help himself to a goal against Burnley. So it came off his stomach, who cares. . .

5. Leon Balogun, Rangers/SCO

The Super Eagles defender may not have scored in February but he has been posting consistently great performances for Rangers as they are coasting to the Scottish title.

None of those was better than his overall display against Dundee United, where he slotted in at right back and preceded to deliver a masterclass with: 96 touches, 81 percent pass accuracy, four key passes, five of five dribbles completed, two tackles, two clearances, two interceptions and one big fat assist.

6. Joe Aribo, Rangers/SCO

Aribo seems to be making a habit of collecting man of the match awards or close to doing so when he turns out in that Gers blue.

He had two goals in February but that could and should have been more. At least one more. His assist for the opener against Dundee was heading in before it was helped on its way by Ianis Hagi.

Just before that, he took out three defenders in one shimmy and forced a save from the United goalkeeper.

And his goal was a beauty, turning inside his marker before unleashing an unstoppable effort.

7. Junior Ajayi, Al Ahly/EGY

Getting voted CAF Champions League player of the week does not come easy, but that was exactly how Junior Ajayi approached the end of his February.

To celebrate the recognition, he bagged two goals in an Egyptian Premier League game against El Geish.

Away from the continent, the former junior international scored the winning penalty kick as Al Ahly beat Palmeiras 3-2 in a penalty shootout at the FIFA Club World Cup.

8. Stephen Eze, Jamshedpur/IND

Since leaving Europe for India, Stephen Eze has flown under the radar, but the former Kano Pillars defender has been tearing it up in the Indian Super League and collecting awards with regularity.

In mid-February, he was voted player of the week and then proceeded to help the club set a new club record of eight clean sheets. The previous time was in 2018 when they had seven.

His team failed to make the playoffs, but Eze led the league in interceptions with 54 from 18 games. He capped off the month with a goal against Bengaluru in their last game, a towering header from a free kick.

9. Tyronne Ebuehi, FC Twente/HOL

Since returning from long term injury, Ebuehi has been gradually working his way back into reckoning.

He could not have chosen a better time to grab his first goal of the season than with Gernot Rohr set to name his squad for the final round of Afcon qualifiers.

10. Kenneth Omeruo, Leganes/SPA

Omeruo is a constant presence for Leganes in the Segunda division as the modest side seek an immediate return to the Spanish La Liga.

And in a month when defenders decided to do the job of strikers, Omeruo was on hand to join in the fun.

The 27-year-old bundled in a late winner for Leganes to help them claim a 2-1 road win at Sadiq Umar's Almeria.