Luke Littler ‘upsets’ Michael van Gerwen and makes other darts rivals ‘jealous’ | Other | Sport

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Luke Littler ‘mania’ is upsetting the likes of Michael van Gerwen and raising the games of darts’ top players, Dennis Priestley believes. The teen sensation has attracted vast attention after a remarkable rise at the start of 2024.

Van Gerwen has won the last three Premier League Darts nights, including defeating Littler in the final on night two. The Dutchman is playing at the top of his game after a dip in form last year.

Two-time world champion Priestley believes Littler’s impact has had an effect on Van Gerwen. The 73-year-old believes the top-ranked stars have become ‘jealous’ and ‘upset’ over the attention Littler has received and want some for themselves, subsequently raising their performances.

“Yes, players will be jealous of Luke Littler. Obviously it’s going to be getting to them that a young guy has come on the scene and taken all the limelight away,” Priestley told OLBG.

“I know the ‘Luke Littler mania’ spurred Michael Van Gerwen on because he’s started to knuckle down and [is] showing his potential again. Littler is definitely upsetting a lot of the top boys.”

Littler recently suggested that he could retire within the next 17 years, pointing out that while he is making his first steps into professional darts, he has been playing the sport for years and could require a break.

But Priestley believes the comments were the result of good advice from those surrounding the World Championship finalist. He thinks Littler will instead play for up to 20 years.

Priestley points out that Littler is an old head on young shoulders, and joked that he has more ‘between his ears’ than he did at the same age.

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