The PDC World Darts Championship may be a competition that has run for almost 30 years, but during that time only eight men have managed to get their name engraved on the roll of honour and call themselves world champion.
The 2010s saw more new world champions than any other decade with no fewer than four players earning their maiden world title, but how many future champs are already strutting their stuff in the PDC?
You have the players who have come close time and time again only to never get over the line such as James Wade and Simon Whitlock, and while they have every chance of still picking up the Sid Waddell trophy one day, it has to be said that they don’t look like threatening anytime soon, and with both players entering the twilight of their careers it’s hard to pick them out as future world champs.
There are also a handful of players who are relative newcomers to the top table of world darts, who seem to just be one step away from making a real go at winning at Alexandra Palace.
Michael Smith, Gerwyn Price and Nathan Aspinall are all future world champions in my opinion, and they’ve shown that they can do it on the big stage, with Smith being a one-time runner up while The Iceman and The Asp have both reached semi-finals, and it just seems a matter of time before one of them picks up the title.
Daryl Gurney is another player with enough talent to win such a title, after all, he is a two-time major winner, but he’s only ever gone further than the third round once at the world championships, so I’m not confident enough to call him a sure fire future world champ.
Glen Durrant is a funny case, he’s already a three-time world champion in the BDO, and the Premier League table-topper is showing that he has the talent to beat any of the top players, but at the age of 49, time isn’t on his side, and with competition being hotter than ever, it’ll be tough for him to win a world championship in the near future.
Then you have the future stars of the game.
Dimitri van den Bergh, Max Hopp and Jeffrey de Zwaan are three immensely talented young players, and if they continue to improve at the rate we’d hope to see they will be there or thereabouts for years to come.
Of the three aforementioned players I’d say that De Zwaan has the greatest chance of being a future world champ, he has such an air of confidence on the oche that is only ever really seen from the PDC’s elite, and if he can be a bit more consistent he will get there one day.
However, perhaps the young player with the best chance of becoming a future world champions is Luke Humphries.
Cool Hand Luke has made back to back quarter-finals at Ally Pally, so we know he has what it takes to go far in the tournament, and if the 25-year-old can continue to improve he will get there one day.
In my view there are five current tour card holders that I’m confident will become world champions in the future, but there are 10 that I feel have a strong chance of getting there.
I’m certain that Van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Rob Cross aren’t done with winning world titles, and you never know what Gary Anderson has up his sleeve, so it’d be daft to write him off.