Michael van Gerwen says the time has come for Phil Taylor to retire

World No 1 Michael van Gerwen claims 16-time world champion Phil Taylor is too old to play darts and “should have retired two years ago”.

The Dutchman has made it clear that he thinks Taylor’s plans to retire at the end of the next World Championship will come to fruition.

‘The Power’ has established himself as one of the greatest-ever darts players during his illustrious trophy-laden career.

The 56-year-old has won 216 professional tournaments which include an unprecedented 84 major titles, and despite regularly averaging over 100 during tournaments, Van Gerwen thinks he should have called it a day two years ago.

“This time I believe him,” Van Gerwen told Sky Sports. “He’s said that he was going to retire before, but he never did. I think he’s getting a little bit old and his focus to win 100 per cent has gone – it’s time for him to retire. He should have done it two years ago.

“He’s also a winner, a bit like me, but I know it’s difficult to give up. I’ve also said that I want to retire when I’m 40, but you can’t see into the future because things in the world can change so quickly.

“If I want to stop playing, I’d want to stop after a huge win.”

Van Gerwen admits he is always “aiming for perfection” as the man who is the most dominant force in darts looks to retain his Premier League crown.

The world No 1 succeeded Gary Anderson as both Premier League and world champion inside a phenomenal past 12 months which featured an unprecedented 26 tournament wins.

And he remains in confident mood as the Premier League roadshow heads to Nottingham, despite suffering a shock defeat to Thursday night’s opponent Peter Wright at the Coral UK Open Qualifiers at the weekend.

“I hope I can keep breaking records because breaking record is a nice thing,” said the 27-year-old. “What I’m doing now, you have to think, ‘hey, I’m doing something special’ but sometimes I don’t really realise what I’m doing because I’m aiming for perfection.

“I put my put myself under so much pressure that I expect to play well. It’s not normal, but it’s not a bad problem to have.

“I like to win every game I play and of course it’s not possible, but you have to aim for it. I’m a winner and I don’t like losing. Anything that I do, even if it’s a game of monopoly, I have to win it. It’s how I am and it’s what I do.”

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