Rather than 8/9 first team and 10/12 second team why not a first team of 20 quality players.
Because we are not City. We live in the real world.
You need a first team of ~15 players and ~10 good quality support players.
At the moment we have:
1st team quality:
Johnson, Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
Good quality back-up:
Henderson, Bellamy, Doni
Downing, Adam, Spearing, Cole, Carragher
Shelvey, Sterling, Gulasci
I'd say Kalou fits into the "good quality back-up" category but he would get into our first team at present. If we can upgrade on the "Meh" players and get good quality replacements for very little money, then I think it is a very clever strategy. We need a couple of quality players, but our first team is very strong. We struggle when we lose Lucas or Gerrard or Suarez etc for large parts of the season (2/3, 1/2 and 1/4 respectively last year).
I think a lot of people are looking at rumours of us spending £7m for Gylfi, getting Diame and Kalou on a free and assuming these will be our only signings. If we go into next seasons with Diame, Gylfi and Kalou instead of Spearing, Adam and Kuyt we have improved our squad, without a doubt in my mind. However, I agree that this won't be enough, we do also need a couple of first team players - but that doesn't necessarily make this transfer a bad one.