Chelsea are set to splash out a big fee on Gonzalo Higuain and they may even bring him to the club this week.
But Lee thinks there is a cheaper option – recall Tammy Abraham from Aston Villa and give him a go in the first team.
“Tammy went to Swansea did okay but now he’s scoring goals in the Championship and is a big difference so maybe Sarri thinks he’s not ready yet,” Lee, who played in 194 matches for Chelsea from 1988 until 1998, told Love Sport Radio.
“In the end, I think you’re better off with him, a proven centre-forward who is scoring goals this year, rather than makeshift centre-forwards all the time.
“They just need a centre-forward. Hazard is not a false No. 9. He’s a brilliant player and yes he can play there but it’s not really ideal.
“Callum Hudson-Odoi was getting crosses in and there’s just no-one in the box.”
While Lee has also urged Hudson-Odoi to reject the advances of European giants Bayern Munich.
The 18-year-old has been heavily linked to a move to Germany, but Chelsea have rejected a bid of £35million for the England youth international.
The winger has recently been thrown into first-team action by Maurizio Sarri, and is likely to be offered an improved contract should he pledge his future to the Blues.
“He would have signed a contract at 17 with a few clauses when he makes his first-team debut or plays [a certain] number of games then he gets a new one,” Lee said.
“I hope he’s not holding the club to ransom by demanding all sorts. He should stay and play.
“He’s just got in the team. If he plays well like he has done the last few games, he’s going to play every week.
“It’s up to him now to stay in the team but I think it would be wrong if he left. I’d like to see him stay and have a real crack.”
Hudson-Odoi has made eight appearances for Chelsea in all competitions this season, assisting three goals in total and scoring against PAOK Salonika in the Europa League.