Chelsea paying the price for losing out on Benteke - Cascarino

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Chelsea will live to regret missing out on Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke - that's according to former Blues star, Tony Cascarino.

Jose Mourinho had been keen to strengthen his front line over the summer, with a high-profile move for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney failing to come to fruition.

Another Chelsea target was Benteke, who had asked to leave Aston Villa earlier in the summer, while Tottenham were also in the running to land the Belgian forward.

But with his Villa Park future looking as bleak as as ever, Benteke performed a dramatic U-turn and signed a new and improved contract to stay with the Villains - a decision Cascarino believes Chelsea will rue for years to come.

In the end, Mourinho plumped for a cut-price move for Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto'o, though the Cameroonian frontman has so far struggled to impress the Stamford Bridge faithful.

And Cascarino believes Chelsea missed a trick in not signing Benteke, with the 22-year-old striker having scored an impressive 23 goals in 38 league appearances for Paul Lambert's men.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Cascarino said: "I felt that would have been a massive statement. He’s the type of the player they needed in the way they play.

"The way Mourinho’s teams have played over the years, he loves that physical man, and he doesn’t have it.

"He has three forwards and doesn’t know which one to pick.

"It would have made a huge difference [getting Benteke in]."

Chelsea suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat at the hands of FC Basle in their Champions League opener last night, and Cascarino believes a player of Benteke's ilk would have made all the difference.

The west London outfit will be hoping they can return to winning ways this weekend as attentions turn back to domestic competition - Chelsea host Fulham at Stamford Bridge this Saturday.

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Christian Benteke
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