Must be something in the September air. Or could it just be early season ginger? Whatever it is, Nigerian players carried their good form from August into September with not just goals but also strong all round performances.
Those strong performances mean that no less than four players from the August Rankings dropped off the grid.
Victor Osimhen, of course, was not one of them.
The Lille striker easily held top spot as he kept up his good form with two goals for the French side, while bagging his first international goal for Nigeria in a 2-2 draw with Ukraine.
Club Brugge's David Okereke held down second spot last month but dropped off the list completely, with his place taken by the imperious Semi Ajayi, who not only become a defensive stalwart for West Bromwich Albion but also added two goals in the period under review. And did we mention his rock-solid display alongside William Troost-Ekong in that Ukraine draw?
Up to third is Samuel Chukwueze, whose brilliant individual goal for Villareal as the month closed out added to his two assists for his La Liga club plus a threatening showing against Ukraine, where he was unlucky not to score
Paul Onuachu is the first of the interlopers.
Out of the picture in August, after only just joining Genk, he barged his way in with three goals in six games in September.
Nevertheless he stands behind impressive Heerenveen forward Chidera Ejuke who moved from ninth in August to fourth in September, helped of course by this pearl of a goal. One of three he snagged from three appearances.
2019-2020: August |
Joe Aribo remains in play this month despite seeing his September starting badly, with Rangers losing 2-0 to Celtic in the Old Firm derby. The month became considerably better when he started his first international game, and capped it with a goal. He returned to Rangers on a high, and promptly added an assist in a 3-1 win over Livingston. He capped the month with another assist in a 4-0 thrashing of St Johnstone.
Peter Olayinka missed the top 10 in August only by whiskers, but he was not to be denied in September. That is what goals and a lot of grit and heart against giants Inter Milan will earn you. This, is in addition to his fine league goal-scoring form. No surprise Gernot Rohr has called him up for the game against Brazil.
Ajayi is not the only defender on the list.
He is joined by the calmly efficient Jamilu Collins, who shows quality game after game and added to his storybook with a peach of a goal against giants Bayern Munich.
Dropping out of the top 10, in addition to Okereke, are Nantes forward Moses Simon, Lokomotiv Plovdiv defender Stephen Eze (three yellow cards in quick succession did not help his case) and Granada midfielder Ramon Azeez, whose fine form also helped put him on Rohr's radar for Brazil.
Nigeria Power Rankings
1. Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France)
2. Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England)
3. Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain)
4. Chidera Ejuke (Heerenveen, Netherlands)
5. Paul Onuachu (Genk, Belgium)
6. Joe Aribo (Rangers, Scotland)
7. Peter Olayinka (Slavia Prague, Czech Rebublic)
8. Jamilu Collins (Paderborn, Germany)
9. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England)
10. Alex Iwobi (Everton, England)