Asisat Oshoala and Tabitha Chawinga top African women's power rankings for January

Asisat Oshoala's performances have given Barcelona a superb start to the new year. DAX Images/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The new year began with a bang for African women's football, with Barcelona's Asisat Oshoala leading the charge.

Now fully fit, Oshoala banged in 10 goals in the course of the month to remind Nigeria's opponents at the Women's World Cup that despite the Super Falcons' recent misfortunes, they will still face a formidable threat leading the line in Australia and New Zealand.

1. Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona

Oshoala had an incredible start to the new year for Barcelona, who made history by becoming the first football team to win 50 league games in a row. Currently, they are sitting on 51 not out in the Primera Iberdrola, which they are once again running away with.

The 28-year-old from Ikorodu began the year with a goal against Sevilla before scoring twice against Sporting de Huelva and once again versus Real Sociedad.

She then finished the month in tremendous fashion with back-to-back hat-tricks against Levante Las Planas and Granadilla Tenerife.

The only matches during January in which Oshoala did not score -- against Osasuna and Real Madrid -- were matches in which she came on as a late substitute.

2. Tabitha Chawinga, Inter Milan

In any normal month, Chawinga would probably top the charts for her goalscoring exploits since the new year began. Unfortunately for the Malawi star, Oshoala's sensational goal return simply could not be outdone.

Chawinga scored in the 4-0 win over Sampdoria in the women's Serie A, before going on to net against them again in a 3-2 Coppa Italia win.

Crucially, she then bagged a brace in the 4-1 derby win over AC Milan in Inter's last fixture of the month. That result left Inter fourth in Serie A, 10 points behind league leaders Roma.

3. Uchenna Kanu, Tigres UANL

When Kanu is on form, she has proven time and time again in the Liga MX Femenil that she is near impossible to stop.

The 25-year-old Super Falcons forward reminded competitors of that again with a hat-trick in Tigres UANL's 6-0 drubbing of Atlas on January 10.

Kanu was on target again in the 3-1 win over UNAM four days later and then scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich, with UANL making a major statement on behalf of Mexican women's football in the first ever Copa Amazonas.

4. Ashleigh Plumptre, Leicester City

Super Falcons defender Plumptre retained her place at the heart of the Leicester defence in a month which saw them begin to claw their way back from a relegation quagmire.

Leicester picked up a crucial 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion to end a run of nine straight defeats since the start of this season and move within four points of safety in the FA Women's Super League (WSL).

Plumptre started that match, as well as Leicester's other victory of the month -- a 5-0 drubbing of Sunderland in the FA WSL Cup group stage.

5. Rosemonde Kouassi, Fleury 91

Ivorian international Kouassi continued her fantastic form for UEFA Women's Champions League-chasing Fleury 91 in France.

Kouassi, 21, scored twice as Fleury held giants Paris Saint-Germain to a surprise 4-4 draw. She has six goals from 11 league matches this season, with Fleury sitting two points behind another Parisian club, Paris FC, in the race for the third UEFA Champions League place, which Fleury lost last season.

6. Ajara Nchout Njoya, Inter Milan

Cameroon's Nchout Njoya continues to play an important supporting role for Inter this season, combining nicely with Chawinga, who was brought in to bolster the strike force for the current campaign.

The 3-2 Coppa Italia quarter-final first leg win over Sampdoria was a perfect demonstration of the benefits of having the two African stars combining.

Chawinga assisted Nchout Njoya for Inter's first goal in the 10th minute, while the roles were reversed a further 10 minutes later with the Indomitable Lioness turning provider and the Malawi international doubling the lead.

Nchout Njoya may not be as prolific in front of goal as last season, but she has adapted to a different role in the team and remains a valuable contributor for Inter.

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7. Toni Payne, Sevilla

Payne was on the scoresheet for Sevilla as they clinched a vital 4-2 win over Madrid CFF that kept them in mid-table and put reasonable daylight between them and the relegation battle.

Although Barcelona are running away with the title and have a perfect 48 points from 16 games, the league is tighter from the middle to the bottom of the table. Eighth-placed Sevilla are only five points ahead of bottom club Alavés.

Payne has been a key creative presence in the side, and if she can add more goals to her game, she could be an even more valuable asset for the Andalusian club, let alone the Super Falcons.

8. Racheal Kundananji, Madrid CFF

Copper Queens striker Kundananji found the back of the net in Madrid's 3-1 win over Real Betis to take her tally for the Primera Iberdrola season to 10 goals from 17 matches.

Kundananji has been with Madrid since moving after her old club, Eibar, were relegated at the end of last season. Her international teammate, Grace Chanda, moved from Kazygurt shortly afterwards and is beginning to find form.

However, chasing down the top three of Barcelona, Levante and Real Madrid would be no mean feat. Madrid are currently 11 points behind their city rivals in the race for UEFA Champions League football.

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9. Rosella Ayane, Tottenham Hotspur

Ayane continues to play an increasingly important role for Tottenham and January gave us a glimpse of what we might expect from her new partnership with fellow former Chelsea player Beth England.

England signed for Tottenham for a reported £250,000 domestic record fee on January 4. She has got her time there off to an impressive start and Ayane had a role to play in a recent goal.

The Morocco international's cross picked out England to head home from close range in the first goal of their FA Cup fourth round derby with London City Lionesses.

The floodgates subsequently opened with Tottenham running out 5-0 winners. Spurs are currently eighth in the FA WSL.

10. Claudine Meffometou, Fleury 91

Fleury have kept clean sheets in three of their last five fixtures and so Cameroon's Meffometou is given a position in our top 10 as a reward for her role in their mean defence.

After all, the 32-year-old started in vital 2-0 January victories over Le Havre and fellow Champions League chasers Paris FC. Her experience will be invaluable as Fleury look to succeed where they fell just short in 2021/22.