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Van Gerwen: He’s a young kid, let Littler do his own thing

Michael van Gerwen has said the pressure on Luke Littler is ‘unfair’ and asked for the 17-year-old to stop being asked “stupid questions” so he can enjoy his darting career.

Littler shot to stardom by reaching the World Darts Championship final on debut, where he lost to world No 1 Luke Humphries.

He then landed a nine-darter on his way to his PDC title at the Bahrain Masters before landing another perfect leg on his way to winning the Players Championship event on debut in Wigan.

Littler made it into the eight-man Premier League, where he sits third in the table but he’s yet to win a stop on the series.

Van Gerwen is leading the way after winning three of the four nights with Exeter next on the roadshow on Thursday.

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Van Gerwen was left hanging by Littler ahead of the deciding leg of their semi-final match on Night Four of the Premier League in Newcastle

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Littler reeled in ‘The Big Fish’ during his quarter-final match against Peter Wright

Van Gerwen beat Littler on his way to victory in Newcastle but after his success, the Dutchman, who won the World Masters as a 17-year-old, empathised with him.

“He’s a phenomenal player,’ Van Gerwen said. “He has a lot of talent and he has such a great career in front of him.

“But like I always say, get the pressure a little bit off him. Don’t ask him too many stupid questions. Just let him enjoy what he does and it makes him a better player in the long run.

“He’s a young kid. How much pressure everyone puts on his shoulders is insane. I know, as a player, how it is. I don’t think it’s fair on him. But that’s my opinion.

“Let him enjoy his life. Let him do his own thing. If he puts his shoe on, puts his darts in the sand, put his finger in his nose, whatever he does, people speak about it. Of course that happens with famous people, but let him live his life.”

Van Gerwen, a seven-time Premier League champion, added: “I just like darts and I want to protect the product. I like to perform to the highest level, and that’s why I like to play against Luke Littler. But if you keep doing this, I’ve seen a lot of kids in his position drift off. So I don’t think that’s good for the sport.”

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Littler’s success gives us a chance to highlight what an incredible talent this young man is through this musical montage…

Where does the Premier League head next?

Michael Van Gerwen celebrates with the trophy after winning against Gerwyn Price in the final during the Cazoo Premier League Play-Offs. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PDC ..RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
Image: Michael van Gerwen is the seven-time Premier League champion

Premier League Darts now heads to the Westpoint Exeter next Thursday night.

League leader Van Gerwen takes on world champion Luke Humphries in the evening’s opening quarter-final.

Night Three runner-up Nathan Aspinall will play Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price faces Rob Cross, while Littler and Michael Smith also go head-to-head.

Live Premier League Darts

Thursday 29th February 7:00pm

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Fixtures: Night Five, Westpoint Exeter on Thursday February 29

Quarter-finals
Luke Humphries vs Michael van Gerwen
Nathan Aspinall vs Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price vs Rob Cross
Luke Littler vs Michael Smith

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2024 Premier League Darts schedule

Night 5 Westpoint Exeter Feb 29
Night 6 The Brighton Centre March 7
Night 7 Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham March 14
Night 8 3Arena, Dublin March 21
Night 9 SSE Arena, Belfast March 28
Night 10 AO Arena, Manchester April 4
Night 11 Utilita Arena, Birmingham April 11
Night 12 Rotterdam Ahoy April 18
Night 13 M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool April 25
Night 14 P&J Live, Aberdeen May 2
Night 15 First Direct Arena, Leeds May 9
Night 16 Utilita Arena, Sheffield May 16
Play-Offs The O2, London May 23

Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday, February 29 with Westpoint Exeter the next stop on the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday, May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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