Date: 6th July 2010 at 8:29am
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James Perch today became summer signing number one for Newcastle United.



ollowing the agreement with Nottingham Forest of an undisclosed fee, and a successful medical and agreed terms for the player, the club`s first signing is now off the trawler and into that big goldfish bowl that another former Forest player infamously complained about.

The ‘fishy` puns are quite frankly not something I`m going to apologise for and if the scale of the transfer leaves some supporters underwhelmed then you can go and jump. Newcastle fans were approaching the transfer window with trepidation, believing the recruitment drive was all at sea and expecting to be bottom feeder amongst Premiership purchasers. And while this sort of coup, or catch if you will, probably doesn`t set the pulse racing, the completion of the transfer is against the tide of expectation. Swimming with the sharks next season, the club can expect a toothier bite from top flight predators but hope to still fin-ish in a respectable position.

Whether the acquisition of Perch goes anyway to improving the likelihood of that eventuality is both open to debate and remaining to be seen. But daft clichés aside, what it does provide is another body into the mix and if there`s anything in the old adage of ‘safety in numbers` then this at least is a stroke in the right direction. The obvious link in the chain is Colin Calderwood who has long been an admirer since the time when Perch played for him while in charge at Forest.

Since that time, the player has played in over 200 games for The Tricky Trees and captained the side the season before last. With Danny Simpson injured, it would appear that he could well start the season as our preferred right back, although he can only also play centre half and central midfield.

While the undisclosed fee gives no indication of what we paid, it`s clearly bigger than the unsuccessful “derisory bid” we made for the same player in January. As a consequence, the disguised figure means we`re still no clearer on what sort of treasure-chest Hughton has to play with, nor do we know whether we`ll be betting value for money when we see this fresh fish in action. But welcome to the madhouse Perchy, rather than a fish out of water, let`s hope you become a tasty morsel on Tyneside and for all of the right reasons.