Mighty Mike, who made history by becoming the first player to record four 170 checkouts in the event, is currently eighth in the PDC order of merit. However, Barney believes that his fellow Dutchman's ranking will soon improve.
He said: "A couple of years ago this kid stormed the world. He then struggled for many years, but he's back.
"This is the future World champion. Maybe not this year, but in a few years. He could be the best in the world - trust me."
Van Gerwen won his first PDC title at the Grand Prix in Dublin last month.