Man United captain a fan of much-maligned Chelsea striker Costa

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has praised Chelsea star Diego Costa, despite the striker often a cause for controversy in the Premier League, according to talkSPORT.

Costa was the Blues’ top scorer in the league last season, banging in 20 goals in just 26 games to help secure the title for Jose Mourinho’s men.

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However, the Brazilian-born attacker has earn himself a rather tainted reputation due to his efforts in trying wind up his opponents.

This term, Costa was at the centre of attention in the Chelsea vs Arsenal fixture, in which he managed to rile up Gunners defender Gabriel leading to a red card.

And again this past weekend, the 26-year-old attempted to provoke Stoke City centre-back Ryan Shawcross, resulting him to be called disgraceful by several media outlets.

But Red Devils captain Rooney is an admirer of Costa’s style of play, claiming it’s the fight in him that pushed Chelsea to become champions last season.

“I actually voted for him as player of the year last season because I think he was a huge player for Chelsea,” the England captain said of Costa, who scored 20 goals in his maiden season for the Blues.

“I think what Chelsea missed the season before was that fight up front and he gave them that and I strongly believe that’s why they became champions.

“Obviously it hasn’t gone as well as it did last season for him but I think he is a fantastic player.

“He’s a fighter and I think that’s part of his game and it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to ask him not to do that.

“I feel that’s in him – that fight. He thrives on that and that gets his team-mates going as well.”

Costa has only managed to score 3 goals in 15 appearances so far this term.