Van Gerwen: "I will be top soon, don't worry!"

Michael van Gerwen (Steven Paston, PDC)

Michael van Gerwen has warned rivals Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price that he has his sights set on returning to the top of the PDC Order of Merit.

The Dutchman saw his seven-year spell as world number one ended in January 2021 when Price's World Championship success moved him to the top of the rankings.

While Van Gerwen missed out on winning a televised ranking title last year, Wright's successes in the World Matchplay and World Championship moved him into a position that saw him recently surpass Price at the top of the standings.

He had won 12 European Tour titles in 2018 and 2019 - each worth Β£25,000 in prize money - and saw just six events held during the past two years, before a positive Covid-19 test saw him eliminated from the 2021/22 World Championship when he was defending runner-up prize money of Β£200,000.

However, Van Gerwen followed up his recent German Darts Championship win with a Players Championship title on Sunday.

The three-time World Champion has also won two Cazoo Premier League nights so far in 2022 in a return to top form on the big stage.

And he has now warned his rivals: "I will be top soon, don't worry!

"Last year was, of course, a disaster for me. If you look towards the ranking system, I lost Β£200,000 in my world ranking [at the World Championship] because of Covid, which you can't do anything against.

"There was Β£250,000 probably in Euro Tours, so that's Β£450,000 off the ranking that I couldn't do anything against. So if you look towards that perspective, there's not really a lot you can do - but I always want to aim for more, and I keep believing in myself.Β 

"I'm still favourite with the bookies. People have their own opinion, but if I still play my game it's still tough to beat me and they all know that. They don't admit it but that's how life is."