The versatile defender was signed for a fee in the region of £700,000, for a player who can play not just in one position but in a variety of different ones, that is what you call value for money. James has been a bit part player or Newcastle over the past few years and was part of the team which saw them rise back to the Premier League and finish sixth in the next season.
So a player with Premier League, Championship and Europa League experience £700,000, well that seems like pennies. In preseason Perch has shone for Wigan showing that he can play not only in the right back position, but that he can also play in the centre back position proving capable of providing cover for missing players.
Being able to adapt quickly to a new team and a new type of play will be a must, for Perch and for his teammates. Ivan Ramis, Gary Caldwell and Emerson Boyce the only remaining defenders at the club, James will be part of a new defence with Boyce the only remaining member from last season.
That gives the hint, barring another major signing Perch could be occupy the centre back position for Latics at the start of the season.
When playing in such a position for Newcastle some of their fans have questioned is ability to work well in the position. So far in pre-season the signs are that Perch should be able to slot nicely into place in the role and provide some competition for any returning defenders.