Vidic, who has made 296 appearances in eight years at Old Trafford, won't be part of United's future, but his central defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand is revered as one of the finest in the club's history. He is a big act to follow and leaves behind students of his game who have learned invaluable lessons.
"He's been a massive part of my development at Manchester United," admits Jones, speaking in a fan Q&A session on his official YouTube channel.
"He's been a big influence on my career and he has always helped me along the way. When I've played alongside him, he has been a great teacher and someone who I look up to and admire."
Smalling adds in the latest issue of Inside United magazine: "Nemanja has been here a long time and produced so many great performances and won a lot of trophies. He's set the benchmark in terms of being a real defensive force and, although it won't be easy, we'll do our very best to fill that void.
"One thing he has always told me is 'defend first'. When you're defending, it's always nice to clear a ball by playing it out with a nice pass or set us away on an attack, but at the end of the day you're a defender and your job, first and foremost, is to defend. Therefore, you have to stop whoever you're playing against, no matter what. I'll always remember that."